Netherlands

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Netherlands

  • UF Holland

Associated terms

Netherlands

109 Name results for Netherlands

10 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Baker, Peter, 1871-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1302
  • Person
  • 20 April 1871-24 December 1955

Born: 20 April 1871, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1889, Xavier Melbourne, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1905
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 24 December 1955, Died: 24 December 1955, Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

2nd year Novitate at Loyola Greenwich, Australia
by 1899 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1908 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Older brother of William - RIP 1943.

Educated at Marist Brothers, Darlinghurst, Sydney, St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill and St Aloysius College, Bourke Street.

1891-1892 After First Vows he remained at Loyola Greenwich for his Juniorate.
1892-1898 He taught at Prefected the Boarders at St Ignatius College Riverview and St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1898-1901 He went to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy
1901-1906 He studied Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
1906-1907 He made his Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1907-1931 He returned to Australia and a lengthy stay at Xavier College, Kew. There he mainly taught Chemistry and Physics and was a house Consultor.
He did great work in the teaching of Science, planned new laboratories, personally supervising the work and taught in them for over twenty years. There he also installed a wireless station. He had a very clear mind and gave a very lucid explanation of his subject to his students, a number of whom later became prominent scientists or medical professionals.
Even when young, his somewhat ponderous manner and deliberate way of speaking gave the impression of age, but never dimmed the affection his students had for him.
1931-1933 He was sent as assistant Director of the Riverview Observatory
1933-1934 He lectured in Mathematics and Science at Loyola College Watsonia
1934-1951 He was sent to work at the the Richmond parish
1951-1955 He went to Canisius College, Pymble.

He was a good friend to many, kind and thoughtful of others, and concerned for the spiritual and temporal welfare of those entrusted to his care

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/58
  • Person
  • 11 April 1879-27 January 1959

Born: 11 April 1879, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 27 January 1959, Crescent College, Limerick

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 2 1959
Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick
With dramatic swiftness, Fr. Barragry passed away on Tuesday, 27th January. On the previous Saturday, he complained of a chill but continued throughout the day at his confessional. On Sunday, he was up and about but complained of loss of appetite. In getting into bed on Sunday night, he felt restless and depressed. Early on Monday morning, he was discovered lying on the floor of his room, by Fr. Rector. The doctor advised his removal to hospital, suspecting a recurrence of the diabetes. From the moment of his arrival in hospital in the late afternoon, his temperature began to rise steadily. He had another very restless night and on Tuesday morning, the community learned that there was no chance of his recovery. He remained perfectly lucid until about forty minutes before his death which occurred about 2.15 in the afternoon. On Wednesday, his remains arrived at the residence about noon and were laid out in the back parlour. Throughout the evening, crowds of his penitents and his friends came to say farewell to this very lovable priest. We all knew that Fr. Barragry was widely respected, but for many of us it was a revelation to discover the extent of his friendships. At the solemn obsequies on Thursday, His Lordship the Bishop attended with a large gathering of the secular and regular clergy. The boys of Sacred Heart College marched with the cortège to the city boundary and many of them finished the journey to Mungret by car or bicycle.

Obituary :
Fr John Barragry (1879-1958)
By the death of Fr. John Barragry on the 27th January the Province has lost, not only a colourful and interesting character, and one who provided a great deal of innocent pleasure for those who knew him or lived with him, but also an observant religious: remarkable for his devotion to poverty and for his exact obedience; a man of deep faith and simple piety, and a great lover of the Society. Many, both inside and outside the Society, feel they have lost a loyal and devoted friend.
Fr. Barragry was born at Oola, Co. Limerick in 1879, educated at the Crescent, and entered the Society at Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. Having completed his novitiate and juniorate, he was sent to Valkenburg in 1899 for his three years philosophy and, to the end of his life he retained an interest in the Niederdeutsche Provinz, and in the careers of those with whom he studied. On finishing seven years' teaching at Clongowes and three years theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained in 1912. Between 1914 and 1920 he was Prefect of Studies at Galway and at Mungret, and those who studied under him recall the firmness, enthusiasm and kindness, which characterised his work on their behalf.
For a short period he was Minister of Juniors and Professor of Mathematics at Tullabeg and then, from 1925 to 1931, he was again Prefect of Studies, but this time at the Crescent. Here, with the exception of seven years, when he taught at Clongowes and at Belvedere - where he was Procurator from 1934 to 1938, he was to spend the rest of his life. In the course of these years at Limerick he contributed in no small way to the success of the college as we know it today, and to the building up of the Ignatian Sodality. From 1944 till his death he was Procurator, and fulfilled this office with that exactitude and care which marked all his work.
Fr. Barragry was an efficient and understanding teacher, and he was remembered with affection by many of his past pupils years after they had left. Gratitude and warm appreciation are still expressed by those who knew him, even as far back as forty years ago. Last September, Monsignor Power of Saltley, Birmingham, recalling the old days in Limerick, asked :
“Is Fr. Barragry still alive? Good! How is he? The same as ever, I hope?”
All his life Fr. Barragly showed a great interest both in men and in affairs, and both his memory for the past and his knowledge of their careers were prodigious. Not a few of his pupils owe their start in life to the solicitous interest he took in placing them after school. Indeed many others also found in him a friend and a willing helper. His apostolate of "job-finding" and assisting the less fortunate, the poor and the unemployed, took up a great deal of any leisure he had.
As time went on he lost nothing of his interest in current affairs, specially in relation to Ireland. He had a deep love of his country, and watched daily, with a growing sense of pride, the material, economic and cultural achievements that had come about since the days of his boyhood. Though he felt that the study of the Irish language was beyond him, he championed its cause on more than one occasion, both , in private and in public.
His savoir vivre was tremendous, and up to the end he remained. keen in mind and active in body. A friend who spoke to him shortly before his death could not but admire the unimpaired, alert mind of a man in his eightieth year. He uttered no complaint on the score of health and was apparently the same as ever."
In 1955, four years before his death, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society. His old friends - the Ignatians - gave him great joy by presenting a golden chalice to mark the occasion, and by arranging that an award—the Fr, Barragry medal— should be presented annually to the most outstanding pupil at the College.
During his years as operarius at the Crescent, Fr. Barragry was a kind and conscientious confessor, and as long as health allowed him to preach, his sermons were carefully prepared. Though in his eightieth year, he had no thought of going “on the shelf”, and was active and at his post practically to the end.
After confessions on Friday night, 23rd January, he complained of a bad shivering fit and was advised by the Rector to keep to his room. He said Mass on Sunday and seemed improved, but towards evening he took to his bed. At 4.30 on Monday morning the Rector thought he heard the sound of knocking and went in to see if anything was wrong. He found Fr. Barragry on the floor, where he had fallen during the night, and being unable to rise or attract attention, he had pulled a few blankets from the bed to keep himself warm. Later that day the doctor ordered him to hospital, and on Tuesday, when it was evident that he was dying, he was anointed and received Holy Viaticum about noon. Shortly before two o'clock, Fr. Rector and Fr. Naughton began the prayers for the dying, and at 2.10 he passed peacefully away.
It can be truthfully said that Fr. Barragry went through life joyously, maintaining always a bright and infectious cheerfulness. He dearly loved his little joke.
On one occasion, slipping quietly away for a villa in Donegal, he left strict injunctions that his life-long friend and colleague, Fr. Martin Corbett of Mungtet, was not to be told. As Fr. Martin and he were always keenly interested in the “latest”, he felt he had scored quite a victory in getting off “unbeknownst”, and was determined that when the time was opportune, he would make known his triumph.
Sitting by the side of the road, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Barnesmore Gap and the sunshine, and pulling a picture post card from his pocket, he scribbled with glee - taking pains to avoid any indication of his exact location : “Lovely views! Any news? J.B.”
Fr. Barragry traded his talents industriously, by patient, faithful service and by prayer. We may well hope that he now enjoys the reward of a well-spent life-a far more beautiful sight than he ever saw in Donegal.
Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide d'á anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Barragry SJ 1879-1959
One could hardly live in a community with Fr John Barragry – or Barrags as he was affectionatle called – without feeling the impact of his energetic and vivid personality.
A Limerick man, born in Oola County Limerick in 1879, after a brilliant career as a boy in the Crescent, he became a Jesuit at Tullabeg at the age of 16.

His life in the Society was spent in the Colleges as Prefect of Studies in Mungret, Galway and the Crescent – 30 years in the classroom, as he himself used describe it. The latter part of his life was spent as procurator, first in Belvedere and then in the Crescent. This was his favourite house, and Limerick his natural habitat. “I know my Limerick” he was heard to retort to one he thought had pretensions to a greater knowledge.

He was intensely interested in people and affairs, especially in matters of the Society government and appointments. His curiosity was boundless and harmless, though to some it was irksome and annoying. To many it was a great source of recreation. His storied of how he dealt with difficult situations were famous. While stationed in Tullabeg teaching the Juniors, it was reported that Our Lady had appeared to a little girl on the avenue. There was great excitement, and the local IRA were on duty, armed, to regulate the people who came to see. “Down I went to see” would recount Fr Barragry. “A young fellow on guard stopped me”. “Halt” said he. “Shoot” said I, and that finished him”. To a Rector to whom he had suggested a way of saving money and who took the suggestion as a slur on his vow of poverty, he said “My Dear Father Rector, you mist never confound poverty with economy”.

He was a hard worker for souls, and energetic Director of the Ignatian Sodality, and tireless in his efforts to place old students in good situations in life.

He died on January 27th 1959 after a brief illness.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

Born at Oola, studied at this school from 1893 to 1895 when he entered the Society at Tullabeg. On the completion of his classical studies, he was sent for his course in philosophy to Valkenburg, Holland (1899-1902). His period of regency was spent at Clongowes, after which he entered on his theological studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1912. For the next ten years after his tertianship, he was engaged in teaching at Galway (1914-1918); Mungret (1918-20); Tullabeg (1920-22), where he was prefect of studies for the scholastics; Belvedere (1922-24). He spent the next seven years at Sacred Heart College where, as prefect of studies, he did much to modernise teaching methods. After a year back in Clongowes (1931-1932) he spent the next six years as procurator in Belvedere College. His last and longest assignment was again at Sacred Heart College where, as procurator, he laboured until his death (1938-1959).
Father Barragry was a man of many gifts; he had a fluent command of German and French; he was an able classical scholar and a brilliant teacher of mathematics. His organising ability was proven in his work as prefect of studies and in the considerable help he gave to the formation of the Belvedere Old Boys' Union. Here, at the Crescent, he reorganised the Ignatian Sodality in the 1920's. He was a talented preacher and sodality director. For many years he was much sought after as a confessor. After an illness of only two days, he died on 27 January, 1959 and was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot at Mungret Abbey. RIP

Boylen, J Rolland, 1906-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/940
  • Person
  • 21 June 1906-28 July 1971

Born: 21 June 1906, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Entered: 08 March 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 August 1937, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Professed: 15 August 1940
Died: 28 July 1971, St Louis School, Claremont, Perth, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
The Christian Brothers educated Rolland Boylen before he entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

1924-1927 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating with a BA second class honours degree in English and Latin from University College Dublin.
1927-1937 He was sent to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy and then Leuven for Theology, and was Ordained 24 August 1937
1938-1939 He was sent for Tertianshup at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1939-1959 he was back in Australia and Xavier College Kew, and there he held the offices of Rector and Prefect of Studies at various times
1959-1961 He was rector of St Thomas More University in Perth
1962-1968 He was appointed Provincial
1968-1971 He returned to Perth and St Louis School, where he taught French, English and Religion, until he died suddenly from heart failure.

He was only fifteen years old when he entered the Society. He was present at the General Congregation which elected Pedro Arrupe.

He found decision making difficult, yet that did not stop him in the development of Xavier College during his time, which included a sports pavilion and changing rooms. While Rector there he did not neglect his pastoral duties and said Sunday Mass at Thornbury every week. He was not a great preacher or public speaker, finding “landing” difficult, though he was always well prepared.

He was a very versatile man. At Xavier College, he taught Latin, French, German, Mathematics and English. He was a capable administrator and was orderly and efficient as Prefect of Studies. He coached sport and enjoyed a game of golf and tennis.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawler came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

Boyton, William, 1610-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/941
  • Person
  • 15 August 1610-13 September 1647

Born: 15 August 1610, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 September 1630, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1637, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 13 September 1647, Cashel, County Tipperary - described as Martyr

Son of Edward Boyton and Helen Suetonia (Sutton?)
“I studied in Ireland under Fr John Shee, then Philosophy at Lille with the Jesuits from 1627-30. Admitted to Society in Flanders Belgian Province at Brussels 20 September 1630 and then at Mechelen 28 September 1630”
1633 at Louvain
1636 at Antwerp
1638 at Castrensi Mission - (Chaplain to the army?)
1639 at Brussels College
Killed 13/09/1647 at Cashel - hacked with swords by lunatic soldiers in Church of Cashel, or shot near B Virgin’s altar while hearing confessions

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Edward and Helen Sueton (Sutton?) - Mechelen Album
Early education in Ireland with John Shee SJ then went to St Omer from 1627-1630. He was then admitted to the Society by James Stratius, BELG Provincial, at Brussels 20 September 1630, from where he went to the Mechelen Novitiate. (Mechelen Album, Brussels and Arch. de l’État, Brussels, vol ii, p 518).
He was a Martyr for the Catholic faith - cut down,,or, as others say, shot near the Blessed Virgin’s altar in the Rock of Cashel, while hearing confessions. The soldiers who killed him especially marked out Priests for death. (cf Drew’s “Fasti”).
Had been a military Chaplain in Holland.
1649 Came to Ireland (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Edward and Helen née Sweetman
Received his early education from John Shee. Then in 1627 went to the Jesuit College at Lille to study Rhetoric before Ent 27 September 1630 Mechelen.
1632 After First Vows he was sent for studies in Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Antwerp, where he was Ordained 1637.
1638 His Tertianship at Lierre was interrupted by war and he served as a military chaplain until Summer 1639.
1639 Sent to Ireland and the Cashel Residence. He taught in the School and worked in the Church there.
1647 He died in the Cashel massacre of 13 September 1647 while hearing confessions for the beleaguered at the Cathedral Church. He was stabbed to death near the altar of the Blessed Virgin.
His name is on the list of Irish Confessors and Martyrs submitted for beatification to the Holy See.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Boyton 1609-1647
Fr William Boyton was born in 1609 and entered the Society at Mechelen in 1630.

His short life as a Missionary in Ireland was crowned by a martyr’s death at Cashel during the Confederate War. When the town was captured by the Parliamentarians under Lord Inchiquin, “Murrough of the Burnings”, the garrison, together with priests and religious and citizens withdrew to the Cathedral, which occupied a strong position on the famous Rock of Cashel. Here they held out until overcome by numbers.

“As the enemy forced their way in, Fr Boyton exhorted all with great fervour to endure death with the constancy for the Catholic faith, and was wholly occupied in administering to them the sacrament of penance. The enemy, finding him at this work, slew the father with his children. But God avenged the unworthy death of His servants, and by a magnificent sign, showed the cruelty of the massacre.

A Garrison of heretical troops was stationed on the Rock. On a certain night, an old man of venerable aspect appeared to its commander, and taking him by the hand, led him forcibly to the top of the Church tower, and asked him how he dared so impiously to profane that holy place. And as he trembled and did not answer, he flung him down into the cemetery below, where he lay half-dead and with many bones broken, until the following day, when having fully declared the divine vengeance which had overtaken him, he expired”.

(“Sufferers for the Catholic Faith in Ireland”, Myles O’Reilly, p 214)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BOYTON, WILLIAM. We know little more of this Father than that he was barbarously murdered by the Parliamentary troops, at the taking of Cashell, on the 13th of September, 1647.

Brennan, Joseph A, 1867-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/952
  • Person
  • 01 September 1867-15 May 1945

Born: 01 September 1867, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 02 February 1884, Richmond, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 1897
Professed; 15 August 1903
Died: 15 May 1945, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1892 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1893 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Patrick Muldoon Entry :
Entered at the new Irish Novitiate in Richmond, and it was then moved to Xavier College Kew. He went there with Joseph Brennan and John Newman, Scholastic Novices, and Brother Novices Bernard Doyle and Patrick Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, before entering the Society, first at Sevenhill and then at Richmond and Xavier College Kew, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1886-1888 and 1890-1891 He was a teacher and Prefect of Discipline at Xavier College
1888-1890 He was a Teacher of Greek, Latin and English as well as Prefect of Discipline at St Ignatius College, Riverview.
1891-1894 he was sent abroad for studies, first to Exaeten College, Netherlands for one year of Philosophy, and then two more years Philosophy at Leuven, Belgium.
1894-1898 He was sent to Milltown Park, Dublin for Theology
1898-1899 He made Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1899-1901 He returned to Australia and teaching senior Physics at St Aloysius College, Burke Street
1901-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius College, Riverview to teach and was also a Division Prefect. He was a very strict disciplinarian.
1908-1914 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1914-1916 He was sent teaching and prefecting at Xavier College. Here he was also Rowing master in 1915.
1916-1922 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Ignatius Parish, Richmond, and at the same time served as a Consultor of the Mission. From 1921-1922 he was also very involved in the second Church in the parish, St James’, North Richmond.
1923-1936 he returned teaching at Xavier College. At the same time he was an examiner in quinquennials, Spiritual Father, and Admonitor at various times.

Apart from a period of Parish work at Hawthorn in 1937 and Richmond 1942-1944, he spent the rest of his life at Xavier College. He took a special interest in games, particularly Australian Rules, on which he was an authority.
He was a very tall and powerful man who had been a stern disciplinarian in his early days. He was noted as being a very good theologian and very definite in his answers to moral problems. As a preacher, he was solid but dull. He was regularly left in charge of the Vice-Province when the Provincial was away. He had a high reputation among secular clergy as well.

At the request of the General, in 1921-1922 he was asked to solve a serious problem concerning a plantation in Gayaba, New Guinea. He was also chosen to superintend the foundation of Corpus Christi College, Werribee, whilst awaiting the arrival of the Rector, Albert Power. Finally he was responsible for making arrangements with the Archbishop of Perth, Dr Prendiville, for the establishment of St Louis School in 1938

Note from Vincente Guimera Entry
Vincente Guimera entered the 'Society in 1890, and after studies and some teaching, he was sent to New Guinea in the 1920s to help find a solution to the problems in a mission that had been acquired from the German Franciscans. The superior general asked the Australian superior, William Lockington, to settle the matter, and he sent Joseph A. Brennan to New Guinea. They closed the mission and gave it to the SVDs. Three Spanish Jesuits then came to Sydney briefly and stayed at Loyola. Guimera subsequently lived and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1924-25

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 3 1945
Obituary :
Fr. Joseph Brennan (1867-1884-1945)
Fr. Joseph Brennan, a member of the Australian Vice-Province, died at St. Ignatius' Residence, Richmond, Melbourne, on May 16th.

Born in Victoria, Australia, 6th September, 1867, be entered the Society at St. Ignatius, Richmond, 23rd January, 1884. He came to Europe for his higher studies. At Exaten in Holland he pursued his philosophy and at Milltown Park, Dublin, his theology, and was ordained in Dublin in 1897. He made his third year's probation at Tronchiennes.
On his return to Australia he was attached to Riverview College, Sydney, as Prefect of discipline, a post he held for ten successive years, 1900-1910. In the latter year he was changed to St. Ignatius Residence, Richmond, and remained operarius till 1915 when he re turned to the class-room, teaching at St. Aloysius College, North Sydney, 1915-1924. From 1924 to 1942 (with a break of one year at Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne) be taught uninterruptedly and was at the same time Spiritual Father to the community. The last three years of his life he was stationed at St. Ignatius', Richmond. May he rest in peace.

Bürger, Peter, 1841-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/994
  • Person
  • 18 April 1841-29 March 1922

Born: 18 April 1841, Köln, Germany
Entered: 01 October 1859, Friedricksburg Germany - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 1872
Professed: 02 February1877
Died: 29 March 1922, Exaten, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)

by 1884 came to Milltown (HIB) to lecture in Metaphysics for 1 year

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

Byrne, John A, 1878-1961, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/79
  • Person
  • 07 June 1878-03 June 1961

Born: 07 June 1878, Rathangan, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 03 June 1961, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 36th Year No 3 1961
Obituary :
Fr John Aloysius Byrne (1878-1961)

Fr. John A. Byrne died on Saturday, June 3rd, after a fairly long illness. He had been failing for some years past and had, much to his dislike, to be sent to hospital a few times, when the professional care and his great powers of recuperation soon restored him to comparative health. But these powers were now exhausted. He grew weak, he could take no food, his memory grew very confused: and he passed away almost imperceptibly within a few days of his eighty-third birthday.
He was born at Rathangan in Kildare and was educated at Clongowes from which he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in 1896. Here also, after his vows, he did his juniorate and then went on to Vals in France to do his philosophy two years later. He had a special gift for foreign languages and came to speak French like a native. In fact, he was one of the very few foreigners who were allowed to read at first table. His stay at France coincided with one of the periodical outbursts of anti-clerical legislation, by which the Society was exiled. He used to describe how the mayor with a posse of gendarmes came to promulgate the sentence which was resented by the local population. All the property, including the great library, had to be packed up and transported to the house fraternally given at Gemert in Holland. The scholastics had to make their way mostly on foot, staying at religious houses en route.
He did his colleges at Clongowes where he taught French with remark able success. Years afterwards middle-aged men would accost him as mon père - they were his old pupils. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1913 and did his Tertianship at Tullabeg the first year of the first World War, where he had as a fellow Tertian the future Archbishop Chichester, In 1915 he returned to Clongowes as master where, with the exception of three years spent at Galway, 1923-26, he remained until 1931 when he was transferred to Rathfarnham Castle. Clongowes remained always for him his truest home in the Society; but it could be said that the Castle ran it close.
He spent thirty years at Rathfarnham. He was minister and procurator in the rectorships of Fr. T. V. Nolan and Fr. P. G. Kennedy. In 1942 he retired from the office of Minister but remained on as procurator for many years. By degrees he became an institution in the Castle. Generations of Juniors and Tertians came and went with whom he had much to do in one way way or another, All came to appreciate his kindness and friendliness. He became a great favourite with the community and the children at Loreto Abbey, where he often said Mass and heard Confessions. For years he attended the excellent concerts which are a feature of that school, and his speech of thanks and appreciation at the end was always one of the highlights of the entertainment. He was also much esteemed and liked by the Sisters of Mercy at the children's preventorium hospital at Ballyroan. He helped regularly at the parish Masses and was well known and esteemed by many of the neighbours.
Fr. “Johnny”, as he was universally known by “Ours”, was emphatically a community man. His interests were those of the house. He was always at his best at recreation. He usually managed to have some piquant or new contribution to make which he had picked up in the paper or from the wireless. He verified fully the demands of Nadal - he was religiously agreeable and agreeably religious. He was a regular subject for perfectly good-natured leg-pulling. He had a stock of stories and adventures which he told dramatically and which never failed to get their laugh even towards the end when he had to be prompted. At the concerts on St. John Berchman's day he was a necessary feature and always brought down the house by his song which he accompanied himself. One of his best “pieces” was the ordinary tone in French, which he rendered with hilarious effect. He was always very kind and considerate to the staff of the house and the children at the gate lodges and many other children from the village loved him.
He was a religious of very perfect observance; he was most particular in his attendance at all community duties. It always excited a certain surprise if he was not at the community dinner or litanies. He practised in his personal life a rigorous observance of poverty. He had much to do with others because of his different offices; he was always most obliging and more than willing to give any help he could. He seemed always to be at the disposal of others. In speech he was the most charitable of men. By St. James's estimate he was the perfect man. He never said an uncharitable or unkind word; he never showed any impatience. When something was said or done that seemed to call for condemnation his comment would be c'etait moins bien. This absence of sharpness and censoriousness, this kindness of mind for everyone, was his most gracious quality. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Byrne 1873-1961
Fr John Byrne was born at Rathangan County Kildare in 1878, was educated at Clongowes and entered the Society in 1896.
The early part of his priestly life he spent as a teacher in Clongowes, a superb master of the French language, known to generations of boys as “mon père”.
The rest of his life, thirty years in all, he spent in Rathfarnham Castle, where he became quite an institution. He was a fine pianist and incomparable mimic, talents which he used for the entertainment of his brethern, contributing in no small way to enlivened recreation and oil the machinery of community life.

He was a most kindly and lovable person, known and dear to all the people in the vicinity of the Castle, and to all he ministered to in his long life at Rathfarnham. After a fairly long illness, his end came quietly on June 3rd 1961. A truly gentle and religious soul.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father John Byrne SJ

John Augustine Byrne was born in Rathangan in 1878. He was one of a large family, nine sons and three daughters. Of his brothers, five beside himself were Clongownians, Joe (1890-94), Peter (1892-97), Harry (1893-98), Aloysius (1896-01) and Patrick A (1903-07). They were not only a large, but also a highly gifted family, whose members achieved distinction in various careers in after life. They had, however, the sorrow of losing two of their number at an early age, Ally and Paul Stanislaus, both killed in action in 1917, the former at Arras, the latter at Passchendaele.

John Byrne went from Clongowes to the Jesuit novitiate, then at Tullabeg. He remained on there for some years of study, and in 1900 went to commence philosophy at Vals near le Puy in the south of France. It was a crucial period for the Church in France. In the following year the Jesuits found their position made impossible by the Waldeck-Rousseau law against “unauthorised congregations”, and had to leave the country. The Toulouse Jesuits, with whom John Byrne was studying, took refuge in Holland, at first at Helmond and in 1902 in Gemert.

The year 1903 found Mr John Byrne as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes, but in the following year he was appointed to the two tasks most closely associated with his name, the teaching of French and direction of the choir. In 1910 he went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1913, After tertianship in Tullabeg, he was back at Clongowes for a long period, from 1915 to 1931, broken by three years in St Ignatius College, Galway. In 1932, he was appointed Minister of Rathfarnham Castle, where he spent the rest of his life.

It is thus seen that Father Byrne was some twenty-three years at Clongowes, as a boy, as a scholastic and as a priest, but it may also be said that, though the last thirty years of his life were spent away from Clongowes, his heart was always there. He maintained the keenest interest in all that concerned Clongowes, had a remarkable knowledge of the careers of the boys whom he had known there, and it was noted that in the last few months of his life his conversation constantly recurred to the college where he had been so happy and had given so much happiness to others.

I think that is the outstanding memory preserved by all of us who knew Father John, that he was a happy man and one whose happiness communicated itself to others, because it was the evidence of a kindly, simple, utterly unspoiled nature, inspired by a deep and genuine spirituality. My first recollection of him is when I was a small boy at Clongowes and he was a scholastic. Even allowing for the romantic aura that time casts over far-off days, I think I can truly say that I never recall a more beloved master. He had a rich endowment of the gifts that appeal to the young. Though not a very methodical teacher, he had the great gift of making us enjoy what we were learning. He spoke French like a native and had a keen appreciation of the genius of the French language; so we picked up without effort the phrases with which he bombarded us, usually accompanied by vivid dramatisation. He had a number of funny little ways for holding our attention. One was to point violently at one boy and simultaneously address a question to a boy at the other side of the room. It was all a bit unorthodox, but it was certainly “French without tears”.

Outside of class, he had many gifts that endeared him to us. He was a most talented musician. He played, to my knowledge, the violin, cello, double bass, clarinet and euphonium, in addition to the piano and organ, and had a quite extraordinary gift for improvisation. He had a fine baritone voice, and I can remember well a trio, “Memorare, O piissima Virgo”, occasionally sung by himself, Father John G Byrne and Father Dom Kelly. Of Father Byrne as choirmaster, I have one grateful, non-musical memory. As a small boy, I was making my way up to the choir on Sunday evening, when he met me on the stairs and pressed something into my hand, with a whispered injunction not to let the study prefect catch me eating it. It was a large slice of cake wrapped in a paper napkin, a welcome gift in those more Spartan days when sixpence a week was thought liberal pocket-money. Apart from his choir work, he was invaluable to the Line prefects in getting up concerts, and was always a welcome performer himself. Though of so delicate, almost frail build, he was a good all-round athlete, being a reliable half-back on the community soccer team, and at cricket a good bat and first-class fielder.

Some ten years later, I was back at Clongowes as a scholastic and found my old master on the staff again. Now, of course, I knew him in a different way, and could appreciate qualities that a boy would not discern. One of these was his whimsical sense of humour. It often took the form of recording, always in a kindly spirit, little scenes in Clongowes life of the past, introducing such familiar figures as Father Daly, Miss Ellison, the Matron; John Cooper, the butler; Knight or Simpson, the cricket professionals; Sergeant-Major Palmer, the drill instructor; Kit Doyle, the carpenter (always addressed by Father Daly as “Mr. Christopher”); Mattie Dunne, the smith, whose artificial leg fascinated and rather terrified us, and a host of others who stood out as only those do whom one meets in youth. These reminiscences might have been tedious to others, but I know that to me, both at that time and in much later years, they were a source of undiluted pleasure, bringing back in most happy vein the scenes of my boyhood.

Other, deeper qualities I also learned to value in Father Byrne during the period when we worked together, his deep, simple piety, his solicitude for the spiritual welfare of the boys, and above all, his complete unselfishness. He was one of those who could always be called on for help in the organisation of school entertainments or other extra-curricular activities. (In this connection, one must recall his skill as a scribe. He had a remarkable gift for engrossing ornamental headings for time-tables, class results, concert programmes, etc., and his beautiful script was in evidence all over the college.) Although of a sensitive nature, he was never out of humour or depressed, never reseniful of slights, always ready to make the best of things and of persons.

I fear that this tribute to my old master and colleague is somewhat disjointed and inadequate, but it is my best endeavour to do honour to the memory of one who did much to add happiness to my life as a boy and as a young master, and with whom I shared grateful affection towards our Alma Mater, To Father John Byrne's sisters, Miss Tessie and Miss Josie Byrne, and to his brother, Major Patrick A Byrne, we offer our deepest sympathies.

F McG SJ

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/81
  • Person
  • 26 March 1873-07 November 1943

Born: 26 March 1873, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 November 1943, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 : Left on account of sight. Studied for priesthood in Rome and went on South African Mission!

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944
Obituary :
Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr. John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school, He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.
The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche which he himself translated and produced.
He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.
He was the Father of the House. He had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr, Byrne began to fail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked “Why get me these things, they must cost a lot at the present time.” On one occasion he asked Fr. Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him - the price, etc., - and was told they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”
He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was; “but Father, he has his own work to do.” It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br. Colgan to remain with him for the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. Fr. Rector, Fr. Socius, Fr. Minister, and other members of the Community witnessed his happy death. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.
On Monday morning Fr. Rector said a Requiem Mass in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, a number came to pray there during the day.
The President and Officials of the Past Pupils Union, Officials of various Committees, the Lay-Masters and a large number of Priests attended the funeral. The Lay-Masters, the boys of II Syntax I, and some past pupils sent Mass cards. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of maty generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped to popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatišts, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.

He was the Father of the House; he had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr Byrne began to ail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked: “Why get me these things; they must cost a lot at the present time?” On one occasion he asked Fr Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him : the price, etc., and was told that they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”

He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was “But Father, he has his own work to do”. It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br Colgan to remain with him during the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.

On Monday morning Fr Rector said a Requiem Mass. in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, and a number came to pray there during the day, RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Father John G Byrne was a most efficient and popular teacher in Clongowes for seven years (1898-1905) when he was a Scholastic. He was later Minister for two years, 1908–1910. From that date until his death last November, he was on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, but he always took a deep interest in the welfare of those Clongowes boys whom he had known during his nine years here. Those who benefited by his labours and his kindness may now repay him by a prayer for his eternal welfare and niay be sure that they in their turn will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

Rev John Gabriel Byrne who died at Belvedere College, Dublin, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, Limerick, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school and his name appears second in the list of the Sodality of Our Lady after the name of Mons Joyce of Portumna.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, in 1891, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes Wood College his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote forty years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he con tributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days. RIP

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/738
  • Person
  • 26 January 1908-13 March 1968

Born: 26 January 1908, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1938, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg aan de Geul, Holland
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 1968, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

by 1936 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 43rd Year No 3 1968

Gardiner Street
The even tenor of our ways was rudely disrupted by the 'tragic death of Fr. Paddy Byrne in a road accident on the night of 12th March. A note on the circumstances of the occurrence, based on the horarium made out by Fr. B. O'Neill, a witness and almost a fellow-victim, is appended to the obituary account.
The remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital on Thursday evening at 5.15. It was a moving and unique tribute to him from his old friends the Civic Guards of whose sodality he had been director. All the traffic lights in O'Connell Street were turned off (at the peak hour), the Guards on duty stood to attention as the cortege passed and saluted, all along the route to Gardiner Street. As someone remarked, it was a pity Fr. Paddy was not alive to see it.
The funeral took place on Friday morning after Office and Mass at eleven o'clock, to Glasnevin Cemetery. His brother Fr. Tom sang the Mass, with Fr. Superior as deacon and Fr. O'Neill as sub-deacon. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial presided. The Bishop of Nara, an old friend of the family, attended. The church was packed to overflowing. There was a very good representation of his old friends from Clongowes, from the Army, the Guards and, of course, all his clientele from his well-known box in the corridor. His death leaves a big gap in our midst in Gardiner Street for he was a great community man. A more detailed appreciation on him will be found in the Obituary notices.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

Fr. Patrick Byrne was born in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) on 26th January 1908. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and always maintained an affectionate loyalty to the Irish Christian Brothers. Paddy, along with his elder brother, Tommy, was an altar-server at Gardiner Street : thus his acquaintance with old vintage of Jesuit preachers eloquent orators who captivated the Dubliners of earlier generations went back very far and he could list their names for the edification of his own contemporaries. When Tommy had just completed his noviceship, Paddy entered the Society at Tullabeg.
After three years of juniorate in Rathfarnham and two years of philosophy at Tullabeg, he went to Mungret as a teacher for three years. He taught mathematics mainly, but also took some classes for Geography, Latin and other subjects. In 1935 he began Theology at the German house of studies, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg, Holland, where he was ordained. He was one of the first group of tertians at Rathfarnham, the outbreak of war had occasioned the policy of having tertianship in Ireland instead of at St. Beuno's, Wales.
In 1940 Fr. Byrne returned to the colleges and served as an unremitting teacher of Mathematics at Mungret for two years and at Clongowes for twenty. In 1962 he was transferred to Gardiner Street, where he remained until he was accidentally killed at the end of the Novena of Grace this year.

• The following paragraphs give a memoir-sketch from the pen of a colleague.
Was it Chesterton who remarked that we, rational animals, make a fetish of consistency, whereas of all the animals we are inconsis tently the most inconsistent? That was true of Fr. Paddy Byrne known affectionately as “Patch” among his closer friends in the Society. He was a strong personality, a character, but a personality revealing on closer examination traits running counter to each other in a very human inconsistency.
Outwardly he was a rugged individualist, cynical, tough, hard boiled. Inwardly, deep down, he was of softer fibre, one might even say, over emotional. He had an intense love of the Society, especially Gardiner Street, and all that appertained to it, where in his early days he was an altar server. He had his heroes from those days, Fr. Bury, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Kirwan. No one could now come up to their standards nor equal their achievements. Clongowes also had a niche in his heart; Clongowes where he spent upwards of twenty years teaching and looking after the grounds. Yet he could be fiercely critical of individual Jesuits, if in his opinion, they had let down the Society. Careerists and exhibitionists were anathema to him. His criterion of a good Jesuit was one who did a good day's work and work for him meant primarily work in the classroom. At the same time, he, himself, in the opinion of many was no great advertisement for the same Society, mainly owing to his manner of speech and carelessness about his personal appearance. This latter external fault sprang from his excessive love of poverty which often degenerated into love of economy. He could not stand anything that smacked of waste or extravagance among Ours : “Pouring the people's money down the drain” was his way of describing this. He took pride in the fact that the ordinary coat he wore in the house was over twenty year's old, a cast-off of Br. Corcoran's rescued at Clongowes. At the same time no priest could look more impressive than himself with his height and commanding presence when dressed and smartened up for an occasion, and his speech was always impeccable in his public utterances.
Though outwardly rugged in manner and facetiously cynical in his conversation - that exterior was his defence mechanism. It concealed a heart, tender (I do not exaggerate) to the point of pain. For his mother, whose photograph always held a place of honour in his room, he had a love and reverence that amounted almost to adoration. Her opinions and sayings he often quoted as oracular. For Mary, the Mother of God, he had such a tender devotion that he found it difficult to recite her litany in public without being moved and his voice breaking. This same emotional susceptibility appeared in his confessional work and in the parlour when on “domi”. The sad cases, the tragic stories all took their toll of him. He identified himself with his client, was never niggard of his time or sympathy. He had a special grá for defenceless widows and lonely spinsters, living on meagre pensions and apt victims of red tape and tricksters. During the few years he spent in Gardiner Street he endeared himself to the old women of the neighbourhood. Some saw in him a great resemblance to Spencer Tracy, the actor, others were reminded of the good Pope John. An old bicycle was his means of propulsion up to hospitals and off to remote side streets on errands of mercy and friendly interest. “I was rebuilding my house, Father”, one of his friends reminisced, “he'd often drop by and examine progress and make sure the contractors weren't cheating me”. Talking of his bicycle, an institution in Gardiner Street, his favourite pastime, apart from golf, was to go down to the docks on his warhorse and sit on the wharfs reading his office and chatting to the dockers. He had the human touch in excelsis : nil humanum illi alienum.
He used to say that his long years of teaching in Clongowes had unfitted him for church work. The fact of the matter is, the comparatively few years he spent in Gardiner Street brought out the basic pastoral traits in him. He was diffident of himself in his public appearances, yet his sermons and addresses to the various sodalities he directed in his time, were always meaty and genuinely appreciated by his audiences. His big appearance and naturally slow delivery lent weight and authority to his utterances. This was only to be expected, for he was of very high intellectual ability.
His years in the juniorate and University College, Dublin, were devoted to science and mathematics, during which period he had charge of the now-defunct seismograph. His regency was spent in Mungret. He was more at home in theology than in philosophy, both moral and dogma, in which disciplines he was at once clear, accurate and reliable. At the same time he took pride in his knowledge of farming. I suspect his secret ambition as a Jesuit was to be put in charge of a farm. His criticism of procurators of our farms was scathing, with perhaps one exception. He was adept with his hands with mechanical devices and electrical gadgets : his elaborate electrical invention for lighting cigarettes was a great source of amusement to his friends. His room was full of clocks he was mending for his clientele in the church. He was a fund of esoteric information on all subjects ranging from good recipes for the kitchen to cures for varicose veins.
His intellectual powers, however, were marred by two faults. Firstly he was never able to convey his ideas clearly to an audience. This was sometimes manifest in his teaching, in his relations with superiors, in social intercourse. He was inarticulate, spoke in unfinished sentences and gestures, with resultant impatience when the listener failed to understand. So he gave the impression of being supremely intolerant of fools. Paradoxically enough, he was master of the telling phrase, the quip, some of which will go down in history. Secondly, his intellect was impeded by deep prejudices. His years in Valkenburg imbued him with a horror of Nazism which coloured a great deal of his political thought. He blamed all the world's troubles on clumsy American diplomacy. It was futile to argue with him on matters Irish. As for innovations in the liturgy, he had no time for them. He had witnessed the beginning of this movement in Germany long before Vatican II and was not impressed. Indeed he never tired of hearing the story repeated of the old woman who asked her confessor, “Father, is it a mortal sin not to join in the shoutin' at Mass?” To many generations of Clongownians he was known as “The Genius”. Perhaps with the schoolboys unerring instinct to pinpoint a basic trait, they were right. He was a genius but cursed by an inability to express himself clearly, because from his early days he never disciplined that genius by writing. Whenever he did so (and it was torture) as in his sermons and addresses, he was precise and telling. He was a man of strong opinions with a weltanschauung, as he used to call it, which often enough gave rise to weltschmerz.
Yes, he was a character and his tragic passing creates a gap in Gardiner Street not easily filled. He will be missed too, by many young Jesuit priests of the Province to whom he was guide, friend and counsellor during their college days, Ours don't usually cry over the death of Ours but there were many who were not ashamed to drop a tear over “Patch”. Of the contradictory traits which went to make him what he was, his qualities of heart, sympathy and understanding, were basic and permeating. A man who succeeded in his time in winning the affection of his fellow Jesuits, in worming himself into the hearts of the people of Gardiner Street, was certainly of solid worth in that which is, after all is said and done, the essential, love of one's fellow men and he went before his master full of good works and fortified with the rites of the Church he loved and served so well. He loved a joke and I'm sure he'll give a wry smile as I suggest this epitaph-a parody of a phrase famous in rugby circles : “He went over the line, festooned with souls”. May he rest in peace.

12th March 1968 : Fr. Patrick Byrne, being on “domi” duty, was constantly called to the parlour during the afternoon and evening, He helped Fr. O'Neill in sorting out the Mass stipends and Br. Davis in counting the Novena of Grace offerings. He assisted in giving Holy Communion at the evening Mass. He presided over his St. Vincent de Paul Confreence meeting. Coming from a final parlour interview and confession at 11 p.m., he had a late supper in the refectory and went out with Fr. O'Neill for a breath of fresh air at the end of a tiring day. As they were crossing an apparently deserted street at the corner of Mountjoy Square, a van suddenly swept towards them at high speed. Fr. O'Neill saw the van, uttered a warning and jumped forward to the kerb, thinking that they were evading the danger together, but - “I heard a tremendous thud or impact and saw Fr. Paddy tossed into the air, turning over and landing on the pavement with a horrifying bump. I ran to him, called him by name, got some reaction and immediately absolved”. He had been struck on the head and must be on the verge of death. Fr. MacAmhlaoibh brought the oils from nearby Gardiner Street and gave the last anointing on the way by ambulance to Jervis Street Hospital. The medical and nursing staff made a supreme effort to save Fr, Byrne's life, until soon after midnight he was pronounced dead.

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/83
  • Person
  • 04 October 1868-01 December 1943

Born: 04 October 1868, Cork City
Entered: 12 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 December 1943, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1905 at Linz, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

Fr. William Byrne. Fr. Byrne was born in Cork in 1868, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his studies at Valkenberg, Holland, Milltown Park, Dublin, Innsbruck, and Linz, Austria. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1903, and subsequently taught in various colleges from 1906 to 1931. Since 1931 he had been Professor of Science and Astronomy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He was a brother of Fr. George Byrne, formerly Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and now at Mission Catholique, Dalat, Indo-China, and of the late Mr. Matthew Byrne, Listowel.
When Fr. Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894 he began a life long career devoted to teaching. He had a genuine love for Mathematics and Physical Science, and this love he sought to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his pupils was vigorous, patient, attractive, and above all clear. The word “clear” seemed to have a special association with him, it was the keynote of all his demonstrations. Judged by the standard of examination results, Fr. Byrne was not an outstanding success as a teacher, though some of his more talented pupils did brilliantly. His own great knowledge and familiarity with the matter he taught made it not too easy for him to understand the difficulties of beginners. But he was a reilly great educator in the more liberal and higher sense of the word, aid his methods provided a fine mental training with broadness of outlook and accuracy of thought as chief characteristics. He never lost sight of the ultimate aim of all true Catholic Education, the religious formation of youth. His own personal example and tact won high respect.
His public speaking, in preaching and retreat giving, was marked by very evident sincerity and conviction, together with a simple tranquility and sympathy that appealed to his audience. He was a very good preacher and retreat giver.
As a conversationalist he was fascinating and at times very brilliant. He had a fund of interesting knowledge on a great variety of subjects. He had great appreciation of humour and told an amusing story with inimitable grace. He was uniformly genial and good humoured. Though a good speaker himself he was also an excellent listener. His manner and speech were full of great charm.
As Minister in Mungret for five or six years, and again in Galway for two or three years, he was most faithful, though the duties of that office did not have any great natural appeal to him. He was ever most kind to the sick whether boys or members of the Community or poor in the neighbourhood of our Colleges.
For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy in the Philosophate, first at Milltown Park for three years and then at Tullabeg for twelve years. This work was worthy of his attainments and most congenial to him and he accomplished it with great success. By constant study he kept well abreast of modern advances in Science. His experiments were prepared and carried out with utmost care and he had a true scientist's gentleness with his scientific apparatus. He was also a good linguist, speaking German and Irish fluently, and a great lover of Ireland's culture.
Fr. Byrne was truly a man of principle, and his ideals were lofty and truly Jesuit. He was steeped in knowledge of St. Ignatius, and the Early Society and the Institute. His fidelity to the Institute was inflexible. He was hardworking, conscientious, earnest, zealous, generous and most amiably kind. He was certainly a very true Jesuit whose example was a shining light. He was a man of great regularity and punctuality at all Community duties, no superfluity found place in his room. The virtue of Charity was particularly dear to him, his great physical strength, his intellectual gifts and his counsel were at the disposal of any who sought them.
His last illness was short, as he had desired. On Saturday he gave his lecture as usual, on Monday evening he was brought to hospital in Dublin and received the last Sacraments, and died peacefully on Wednesday morning. He was very patient and kindly in his illness. A valiant soldier of Christ be is much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

In Fr William Byrne Clongowes lost a, son remarkable for holiness, intelligence, and quaint charm, of character, though one who disliked nothing so much as to be remarked. He care of a distinguished family, being a brother of Mr Matt Byrne, the brilliant Cork solicitor, and of Fr George Byrne SJ. Holiness was the first characteristic remarked in him in Clongowes, where he won the admiration of his companions, who readily distinguish between the boy who is merely unaccustomed to wrongdoing and the one who resolutely avoids it on principle. On leaving school he entered the Society and pursued his studies for the most part in German houses. During the nineties he returned to Clongowes for some years as a scholastic, the last period of his connection with his old school. He is remembered at this time for his prowess on the ice. Full of useful work, the rest of his life was yet uneventful. He was Prefect of Studies and afterwards Minister at Galway. He was Minister and teacher at Mungret, and taught also at the Crescent. For some years he prepared the Juniors of the Society for entering the University, teaching them Irish, mathematics, physics, and imperturbability. His last years were spent as Professor of various scientific subjects in the Philosophate at Tullabeg.

It was probably his central independence and love of the hidden life that attracted him to the unspoiled poor of the Gaedhealtacht, and gave him his ardent nationalism. It was rather a cultural than a political nationalism, pacific though uncompromising, and naturally inclined him to a hero-worship of Dr Douglas Hyde and early Gaelic League ideals. He was never more at home than when chatting in his slow, beautiful Irish in some fisherman's cabin. His mind was full of schemes for helping the country folk. One remembers his invention of an instrument for cutting turf and a deeply suggestive but almost un noticed article in Fáinne an Lae on the irrigation of the West. But he was content with knowing that these schemes would work without attempting to push their adoption. One of his greatest cronies around Tullabeg was an elderly lady, an Irish speaker, who lived by hawking debris around in an almost extinct perambulator.

His last illness was over in three days. We should have known that the end was at hand for on his last journey he expressed no curiosity whatever about the machinery and equipment of the motor ambulance that carried him to Dublin. Even then, however, he chafed gently at his illness, for it interrupted his study of a work he had recently acquired on Crystallography. Now his study of crystals is resumed in his contemplation of the jasper and sardonyx of the Apocalyptic City. But one sees him still as he was on his daily walks with his old friend, Fr John Casey, his rosy face lit with its habitual welcoming smile, talking, delightedly and delightfully, stickless, yet looking oddly incomplete without a stick, wearing a hat so small that it seemed to have drifted down autumnally from a restless bough and, all unobserved by him, to have settled furtively on his head. His life at bottom was a quest for beauty or, to be more precise, a quest for the Grail. For there was more knightliness in his character than was superficially apparent.

AL

-oOo-

The following appreciation is from one who lived and worked with Fr William Byrne for many years, Fr John Casey SJ :

We are grateful to Fr. John Casey, S.J., for the following appreciation of Fr. Byrne as a teacher :

“Fr Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894, and a life-time devoted to teaching then began. He came to his work fresh, eager, young, enthusiastic. He had a genuine love of Mathematics and Physical Science. I once heard him, alluding to the Integral Calculus, call those, strange integ ration signs his “dear, dear friends”. This he said half-jokingly, of course, but very much half in earnest too. This love he longed to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his classes was vigorous, patient, attractive and strikingly clear. His past pupils will remember the oft repeated question : “Is it clear?” and the prolonged emphatic intonation of that word “clear”. It was the keynote of his demonstrations.

In the broad, high, and liberal sense of the word, he was a really great educator. Many of his pupils now look back with pleasure and gratitude to the fine mental training, the accuracy of thought, the broad outlook, given them by his pedagogic methods.

In his years of teaching, he never lost sight of the ulterior aim of all Catholic and Jesuit education, the religious training and formation of youth. His splendid example won respect; and the tactful word in season from one so revered had lasting good results.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1910 to 1916 will surely be sorry to hear of the death of their Minister, He seemed to be the fixed star in the comnunity of that period and, though men might come and go, he went on for ever. They will not, we know, forget to pray for the soul of Father Byrne. His death took everyone by surprise, for, though he was not a young man, he did seem to go on for ever. He was teaching the Jesuit students of philosophy for the last twenty years of his life, ever since he left Mungret for the last time in 1922. Mungret he loved and loved in his own way, so much so that he regretted any change in it. He had liked it as it was and he was conservative. Father Byrne was a man of brilliant gifts, an able scientist, whose practical gift was wedded to intellectual grasp. It was a joy to hear him expose scientific theory, but who will forget his naive pride in a nice instrument. He cherished it and woe betide the crude hand that was laid on it. He loved his violin too and charmed dull care away with it every single day. His pupils here will recognise that trait. Simple in all things he was simple with God. No one less like the fictional Jesuit ever perhaps wore the Jesuit gown. Mungret owes him a debt for the years of labour, kindly companionship and good example. She will repay it where remembrance is best. To his brother Father George and to his relatives we offer our sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

A native of Cork, entered the Society in 1886. He studied at Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Innsbruck and was ordained in 1903. Father Byrne taught at the Crescent from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1926 to 1929. He was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and gave splendid service for many years in the Jesuit colleges. For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of science at the Jesuit House of Philosophy, Tullabeg. Father Byrne had considerable gifts as a linguist and was a pioneer Gaelic enthusiast.

Cardiff, Lewis, 1911-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1011
  • Person
  • 13 January 1911-03 June 1988

Born: 13 January 1911, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 10 February 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1988, St Joseph’s, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Ignatius Richmond and the St Patrick’s College Melbourne. He then worked for a year as a clerk in the Victorian Railways and then entered at Loyola Greenwich in 1928.

After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, Ireland, where he graduated with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics and University College Dublin
He then wen to to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy
He returned to Australia for his Regency at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point teaching Science
He was sent to Dublin again and Milltown Park for Theology being Ordained there 13 May 1952
1945-1946 When he returned to Australia he was sent teaching at Xavier College Kew
1946-1948 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne. he did not think much of his own teaching qualities, but his students remembered him for his kind and gentle manner. He was possibly too much of a gentleman to be a successful teacher. he was thought to explain mathematics well.
1949-1957 He was Director of the Retreat House and Minister at Loyola Watsonia. It was a large community and so he was much in demand.
1958-1965 He was sent as Parish Priest at Toowong, Brisbane. There he cared for his people well and also acquired the land for the new Church at Achenflower. Here he also began to be associated with work supporting the Jesuit Mission in India.
1966-1975 He was Parish priest at Sevenhill and Clare where he showed great devotion to his people, especially the sick and aged.
1976 He returned to Melbourne and took on the work of promoting the Jesuit Missions in India. He saw his role as that of supporting his co-missionaries - though he would say that they did all the work, He was always writing letters of thanks to the generous benefactors.

People appreciated his spontaneity, his ready wit and humour and his down-to-earth advice, both spiritual and human. he showed great warmth and humanity, despite a certain jerkiness and shyness in manner. He was a most faithful priest. His life and energy flowed from a loving and affectionate heart, and a deep spirituality.

Coakley, Gerard, 1895-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1060
  • Person
  • 05 February 1895-16 February 1967

Born: 05 February 1895, Waiau, North Canterbury, New Zealand
Entered: 15 August 1914, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1931
Died: 16 February 1967, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1920 in Australia - Regency
by 1924 in Le Puy, Haute-Loire, France (TOLO) studying
by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1930 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Having Entered at Loyola Greenwich, he remained there for two years Juniorate after First Vows.
1919-1920 He was sent for a year teaching at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1920-1922 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Philosophy
1922-1925 He went to Vals, France for further Philosophy
1925-1929 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Theology
1929-1930 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1931-1945 He returned to Australia and St Patrick’s College Melbourne where he taught Science and during that time was also Editor of the “Patrician” (1936-1939). He was an avid reader and had a good memory for many facts, especially in matters scientific. This, combined with a gift for seeing the unusual and less obvious angle made him a most interesting controversialist.
1945-1947 He went to work at the Norwood Parish
1947-1958 He was sent to the Holy Name Seminary at Christchurch, New Zealand, where he was Minister responsible for the house and farm. He also taught History of Philosophy and Chemistry at various times there.
1958 His last appointment was to St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, where he taught junior Religion, and did much work with the financial planning for the College re-development in 1962. He worked at this task with much enthusiasm and spent many hours filling in documents, checking records, and making out receipts, whilst also taking a keen interest in every stage of the redevelopment.. He took great pride in the establishment of every stage.

He became quite depressed during the last dew years of his life, and towards the end, when he developed heart and lung problems, he decided not to keep fighting to stay alive. He was buried from the College with the boys forming a guard of honour.

Cock, Henry E, 1859-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1061
  • Person
  • 18 January 1859-12 September 1931

Born: 18 January 1859, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 12 November 1886, Xavier Melbourne, Australia
Ordained: 1898
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 12 September 1931, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1893 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1894 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and he then spent thirteen years as an accountant in a bank, before he entered at Xavier College Kew.

1888-1890 After his First Vows and Juniorate he was sent to Xavier College Kew for two years Regency.
1890-1892 He spent a further two years Regency at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1892-1895 He was sent to Hersey, Channel Islands for Philosophy
1895-1899 He was then sent for Theology to Milltown Park Dublin and Valkenburg Netherlands
1899-1900 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1900-1901 He was made Minister at Milltown Park Theologate Dublin.
1901-1902 He returned to Australia and was sent teaching at St Aloysius College Milsons Point
1903-1905 He was sent teaching at St Ignatius College Riverview
1905-1908 he was back teaching at St Aloysius College. While in Sydney he frequently lectured in the “Domain”.
1908-1916 he was sent to the Norwood Parish, with the last two years as Superior and Parish Priest.
1916-1919 His health had broken down so he went to St Ignatius Richmond
1919-1931 He was sent to the Lavender Bay Parish.

He was a fairly portly man who had great devotion to the liturgy. He read widely, especially in Philosophy and Theology. He was also a controversialist, able to defend truth vigorously. He was known to be a man devoted to the ordinary duties placed on him.

Note from Dominic Connell Entry :
He was sent mid year to Manresa Norwood to replace Henry Cock. This resulted in a major drama when the Rector of St Aloysius, Patrick McCurtin, resigned in protest, claiming that Dominic was his only good Jesuit teacher

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932
Obituary :
Fr Henry Cock

Born in Melbourne 18 January 1859, educated at St. Patrick's, and Melbourne University, Fr. Henry Cock entered the Society 12 Nov. 1886 at Xavier College, Kew. (In that year the Australian Novitiate had been transferred from Richmond to Xavier, Fr. Sturzo still remaining Superior of the Mission and Master of Novices). He was 28 years of age when he entered having been engaged in accountancy for 13 years. Noviceship over, he remained for a year's Rhetoric, at Xavier, and also for a second year, but this time his private studies were varied by a certain amount of prefecting. Then he was changed to Riverview. Here he spent two years as Master and Prefect before starting for Jersey where he made his philosophy. Theology immediately followed, the first year at Valkenburg, and the last three at Milltown Park. After Tertianship at Tronchiennes he was Minister for a year at Milltown, and started for Australia in 1901.
In Australia he saw service, in varied forms, at Bourke St., Loyola, Milson's Point, Norwood, and Richmond. During that period, extending over 18 years, he was Minister for 7 years, and for one year Superior at Norwood. In 1919 he went to Lavender Bay as Operarius, where he remained until his death. Amongst his many duties he was “Exan. neo-sacerd, Adj
Jesuit Direct., Cens. Lib., Consul. Miss. Syd”.
He died at Lavender Bay, 12 Sept. 1931. RIP

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/95
  • Person
  • 28 December 1873-10 October 1954

Born: 28 December 1873, Clogheen, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 30th Year No 1 1955
Obituary :
Father Bartholomew Coghlan

Fr. Bartholomew Coughlan Fr. Coghlan was born on December 28th, 1873 at Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. After attending Mungret College he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on September 7th, 1893. He went to Roehampton for his classical studies in 1895, and did Philosophy in Valkenburg from 1896-1899. He came to Crescent College, Limerick in the summer of 1899, and taught there until he went to Belvedere in 1901. In 1903 he went to teach in Clongowes, and in 1905 began Theology in Milltown. He was ordained there in 1908 and after Theology taught for a year in the Crescent, then going to Linz, in Austria, for his Tertianship.
After Tertianship, Fr. Coghlan spent a year in Belvedere, teaching, and assisting Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, in the work of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. Then he spent three years teaching in the Crescent, followed by four in Mungret. In 1918 he came to Galway to work both in church and school. He taught in the college until it was suspended in 1926, when he continued on with his work in the church. For a number of years he was Director of the Irish Sodality attached to St. Ignatius.
After long years of unswerving devotion to all aspects of church work, but especially to the arduous toil of the confessional, advancing age began to make its demands on his splendid constitution. For a time he fought off these attacks and continued to live by the regime he made peculiarly his own, but in the end he could no longer rally spent forces, and died peacefully, fortified by the rites of the Church, on October 10th. He was laid to rest mourned alike by the community, to which his very presence gave a special, highly-prized character, and his passing a sense of irreparable loss; and by the people of the city whom he had served so long and so unselfishly.
We give below two appreciations of Fr. Coghlan which have reached us. That the writers are separated by almost a generation suggests the universality of the appeal of Fr. Coghlan's personality,
“A man of giant frame, and of giant intellect and amazing memory; a reader and speaker of the chief European languages, Irish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian and Swedish and a lover of the classics; a historian consulted by many on the bye-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions; a confessor, who was a real anam-chara, a soul friend, to prelates and priests and people, high and low, from all over Connacht; a true patriot, in the Fenian tradition, one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, and always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom - Fr. Batt was all that. But it was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self-sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour, springing from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From that root, too, came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose or affectation and was the chief characteristic of his death-bed, when as men view all life from ‘that horizontal’, all pose or affectation falls away.
“We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man.
“Go ndéantar toil Dé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam umhal uasal”.
“When I thought of writing something by way of appreciation of Fr. Coghlan, a remark of Fr. Peter Dwyer, who died some years since, occurred to my mind : '’ am a good friend of Fr. Coghlan's’ - and then, ruefully, ‘But Fr. Coghlan is very hard on his friends’. He was alluding, of course, to Fr. Coghlan's obliviousness of time, once he had induced you to sit down in the big chair - which he himself rarely or never used, ‘for a few words’. Fr. Coghlan loved a chat - it was his only relaxation in these later years when he became unable to move about freely; the wonder is that he survived, and with relatively good health, without some modicum of physical exercise.
And then while you were thus ensconsed you had the benefit of his varied knowledge the method was informal - the transitions, simplicity itself; but when you surveyed this mass, you found included - Russia and Sweden, and Germany and Italy, an episode from Michelet, a remark from Pastor. But these were only a fraction of his acquisitions; then Silva Gadelica and Séadhna and the Homes of Tipperary brought him home and it was home moulded his outlook, however extensive his other learning. With all that he was not merely bookish; his wide experience as a confessor had broadened the humanity in him which won him so much esteem and so many friends at home and without. Some of these friends were won many years previously, and correspondence continued when direct contact had long become impossible; his Christmas letters were well nigh as far-flowing as his reading - to religious whose vocations he had fostered, to scholastics or young priests who had won his intimacy while attached to the staff here. In his friendship for the latter particularly, I think, he preserved his youth.
His character and whole temperament was simple and straight forward; nothing studied or calculated attracted him; he was impatient of affectation or what appeared affectation to him and he reacted accordingly; if he had a ‘wart’ it was this - that he was possibly over-sensitive on this point.
The sincerity, which was instructive, was readily recognised; the sympathy and consolation he could provide in his equable fatherly way made him the confessor par excellence and priests and laity, having once discovered this treasure, returned continuously over long years for his guidance. These demands were no small burden, but he was devoted to this work and even towards the end - when his strength was evidently overtaxed - he replied to expostulations ‘some people will probably be waiting below who would find themselves less at home with another’ and he trudged to the box.
These appear to be the salient points in this review from one who only knew him late; if Fr. Dwyer's remark was true we only now appreciate ‘when the well is dry’ that the balance of payments for time expended was all in our favour his value was of things from afar. R.I.P.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Coughlan 1873-1954
Fr Batt Coughlan, as he was affectionately called, was a man of giant frame, giant intellect and amazing memory, a reader and speaker of the eight chief European languages, including Russian and Swedish.

He was a lover of the classics, an historian, consulted by many on the by-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions. He was a confessor who was a real “anam-cara”, a soul friend to prelates, priests and people, high and low from all over Connaught.

He was a true patriot in the Fenian tradition, and one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom.

But is was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour springing up from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all. From that root too came a strange childlike simplicity, that made him above all pose of affectation, and was the chief characteristic of his death bed, when as men view all life from that horizontal, all poise of affectation falls away.

He was born in Clogheen Tipperary inn 1873, educated at Mungret and entered at Tullabeg in 1893.

His life in the Society was spent mainly in the classroom and Church. From 1918 he was stationed at Galway, till the breath left him peacefully and effortlessly on October 10th 1954.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

Fr Batt Coughlan was born on December 28th 1873, at Clogheen, Co Tipperary. After leaving Mungret College he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893. After doing some of his studies abroad he was ordained in 1908 at Milltown Park. After completing his studies, Fr Coughlan spent a year in Belvedere assisting Fr Joseph McDonnell in the work of the Irish Messenger. There followed three years teaching in the Crescent College, with four in Murgret. In 1918 he went to Galway to work in both school and Church, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Fr Coughlan was a man of great intellect, and amazing memory. He spoke the chief European languages, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish, and loved the classics. He was a historian consulted by many on the byeways of history, a theologian whose advice was often sought on moral questions, a confessor who was a real soul friend to prelates, priests and people of all classes from all over the West. It was, however, his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and sick and his rich fund of humours spring from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From thắt root too came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose and affectation, and was characteristic of his deathbed when all pose and affectation fall away. As some one remarked “We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

Was born in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary and at the end of his school days at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1893. He studied at Rhoehampton, Valkenburg, Milltown Park, and in Austria. He was ordained priest in Dublin in 1908. Father Coghlan's first association with the Crescent was during his scholastic days from 1899-1901. He returned as a priest in 1908 but spent only a year. He was again at the Crescent from 1911 to 1914. He continued as master at Mungret College (1914-18) when he left for St Ignatius College, Galway, where he remained until his death. By modern standards, Father Coghlan was not a great teacher. He was, perhaps, too learned to be a successful master. His repertoire of languages included Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish. But he carried his gifts modestly. He was universally loved and respected by his pupils. During his long association with Galway city, Father “Bart”, as he was affectionately known, was the anam-chara of the town and county. His spiritual direction was highly valued by the clergy, religious and laity alike.

Conlon, Felix, 1888-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1085
  • Person
  • 22 January 1888-19 January 1933

Born: 22 January 1888, Maclean, NSW, Australia
Entered: 08 June 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Xavier College Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 19 January 1933, Avoca Beach, Gosford, NSW, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

Died by drowning during a rescue attempt.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older Brother of Vincent Colon - RIP 1959

by 1913 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1915 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1917 in Australia - Regency
by 1925 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Vincent Colon - RIP 1959

His early education, along with his three brothers was at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was a good student, enthusiastic about sport and Prefect of the BVM Sodality. He showed the qualities of all-unconscious candour and singleness of purpose. he had a bright personality and was placid.

1907-1909 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for his Noviceship under James Murphy and Michael Browne.
1909-1912 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for his Juniorate
1912-1915 he was sent for Philosophy to Leuven and Kasteel Gemert
1916-1920 He was back in Australia for Regency, firstly at Xavier College (1916-1917) where he was involved with discipline, rowing and the choir, and then to St Ignatius College Riverview (1917-1920), where he was Third Division Prefect, editor of “Alma Mater” and Prefect of Debating
1920-1924 He returned to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology and was Ordained after two years
1924-1925 he made Tertianship at Paray-le-Monial, France
1926-1932 He returned to Australia at Xavier College Kew, where he taught French and History and was also involved in Prefecting and Rowing. He was rowing master when Xavier College won the Head of the River for the first and second times in 1928 and 1929.
1933 he was sent to Loyola Greenwich as Socius to the Novice Master. It was during this year that he drowned while trying to save the life of a boy on Villa on the New South Wales north coast. He was posthumously awarded the “Meritorious Award” in Silver by the “Life Savig Association of Australia”.

He was a small, quiet, shy, good humoured and very gentlemanly man, somewhat scrupulously inclined, but cheerfully dedicated to the task in hand. He was an extremely painstaking teacher, a very edifying man, strongly a spiritual and much loved by those who knew him

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 8th Year No 2 1933
Obituary :
Father Felix Conlon
The news from Australia announcing the death of Father Felix Conlon came as a painful surprise to all in this Province who were acquainted with him, and knew his robust health. Not even when we write this - three weeks later - has any letter arrived giving an indication of illness.
Born in New South Wales on 22nd January, I888, Father Conlon was educated at Riverview, and joined the Society at Tullabeg in 1907. Like his three years of juniorate, which were spent in Tullabeg and Milltown, his philosophy was also divided between two houses - Louvain and Gemert. On his return to Australia in 1915, he spent a little over a year at Kew, where he was able to put to advantage the knowledge of French that he had gained during philosophy. At Riverview from 1917 to 1919 to classwork and the editorship of the “Alma Mater”, he had to add the care of a division. The success of his Rugby teams and his glowing accounts of their matches in the division-prefects' journal testify to his interest and enthusiasm. After theology at Milltown and tertianship at Paray-le-Monial, Father Conlon again returned to Australia where from 1925 to last year he was stationed at Kew. Here again he was “doc”, teaching classics and French at one time or another in nearly every class in the school.. He was also prefect in charge of the boats. In this capacity he had the satisfaction of seeing his labours crowned with success when the Xavier crew - after twenty-two years of vain. effort - was for the first time champion among the Melbourne schools. In July of last year he was appointed socius to the Master of Novices.
Father Conlon died on the 20th January, just two days before his forty-fifth birthday. Though not a student by nature, Father Conlon had passed through the long years of study and teaching with the serenity and cheerfulness that characterised him. It was these traits, too, that always gained him a welcome in a community. When he was superior of a party travelling to Australia and, later, superior of the Kew villa for five years in succession, it was again his imperturbable good humour, joined with an unaffected enthusiasm in the excursions and other forms of recreation., that made him so highly appreciated by those about him. Seculars, too, who came in contact with him, experienced from this easy natural good humour an attraction towards. him. He will be followed by the prayers of the many friends who have been won to him in this way, especially of his friends in the Society, who, often unconscious of the fact at the time, owed to him many an hour made bright and fleeting.
It was only on the last day of February that the details of Father F. Conlon's death arrived. He lost his life in a heroic effort to save a young lad who was drowning. In order to reach the poor boy Father Conlon, Mr. B. O'Brien, S.J., and a gentleman named Miller, faced a wild sea in a small boat. The boat was soon capsized. Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Miller managed to reach the shore, but Father Conlon, a poor swimmer, was never again seen alive, May he rest in peace. Through the exertions of Father Loughnan, Rector of Riverview, assisted by a number of the Riverview Community and others, the boy was saved. They managed to get a life-line out to him, and then, in. spite of great difficulties, and only after a long struggle, they succeeded in bringing him to land.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1933

Obituary

Father Felix Conlon SJ

An Old Boy, Prefect, and Master of Rivei view. Seven years rowing master at Xavier, including 1927 and 1928, the occasions of Xaviers' winning the Head of the River; classical master Xavier. Posthumously decorated by the Surf Life Saving Association.

During the last Christmas holidays we were glad to learn that Father Felix Conlon, who had left us in July to teach at the noviciate in Sydney, was returning to Xavier; but our joy was quickly changed io grief by the sad news of his death. At Avoca, near Gosford, NSW, Father Conlon, in a gallant attempt to save a boy from drowning, sacrificed his life, and so left us the pain of parting froin a very old friend and helper. Yet. our sorrow is not unmingled with pride and gladness, for though Father Conlon died, his death was the death of a martyr of charity meriting for him the highest praise that has ever been uttered by the lips of Truth itself: “Great love than this no man hath than that he lay down his life for his friend’. We indeed rejoice that one by so many and such dear ties ours has won so high a meed of glory, but yet we feel that rather than merely laud we ought to imitate him, for the memory of all worthy merit is left us chiefly that we may learn from them how to live nobly and to die nobly. To live nobly, and to die nobly, these words have not been coined by mere chance, for it is a truth as profound as it is well work that “as a man lives so shall he die”. This salutary teaching is most amply attested by Father Conlon's whole career, for not only did he die a martyr of charity, but what is at least as important, he lived its confessor, But what is charity, or, as it ought to be called love of God and one's neighbour? “You are my friends if you do the things which I command you” Christ tells us with his own unmistaken authority. Charity. Then, is not to be tested by words or feelings, but by service to the loved one. If we review the life of Father Conlon it is just this service and devotion to others which we see ennob ling and beautifying his actions from the first to the very last. At Riverview, as a boy, he showed this sincere love of his school by his fidelity to her in all she asked of him. To his studies he applied himself with such ardour that, though almost certainly not the most gifted of his conrades, he thrice headed his form. In games the same fidelity and sense of duty characterised him. In cricket, where evidently he was not so naturally talented, he made supply the deficiencies of nature by arts and what a writer of his time calls ultra-carefulness he gave his best; for he was not one who gives only when the giving is easy. In football his inborn dash and trained deteritination and in rowing his strength and skill were placed unstintedly at the service of his “Alma Mater”. Thus in youth by a wholehearted devotion did he show practical, that is, true, Jove of his school. Nor did the child fail to be the father of the man. All the many labours of his more mature years were marked by the same care and thoroughness. As before his work lay in many fields, whether as a teacher of classics, French, and history, or as rowing master and coach and as division prefect at Riverview, he used all that nature and art could afford him for the most perfect service he could render. There are many witnesses to this. His exercises were corrected and annotated with exquisite care, which must have edified the boys under him, as it certainly has at least one master who has succeeded to some of his classes; his old class-books are filled with laborious additions to their matter culled from a great number of sources and arguing the most scrupulous research. His sermons were notable for the strict care given to their preparation, and are only one more proof that their author left nothing to chance inspiration of the moment. Moreover, and here we touch on Father Conlon's most tangible and charming trait, he gave himself in all he did with a cheerfulness which God Himself declares He cherishes most particularly, for “the Lord loveth a cheerful giver”. Felix by name and “felix” by nature, as one who long knew him has declared, Father Conlon gave all his gifts with a smile which by no means belied his inner warmth and sincerity. He gave himself to all, for it is remarkable to recall with what art he adapted himself to the most diverse types of nature. Indeed, not only did he make no enemies, but he made all his friends. Further, he gave himself always and with the same bon homie. The burden of life must have lain hard on him as on all, but his good humour and cheerfulness hid from his neighbours any signs that might have rendered their own troubles harder by the sight of his. It is then little wonder that God, his Master, whom he so faith fully served, chose so holy and heroic a crown for his life as the glorious death which he died. May his gentle, faithfui, and brave soul rest in peace, and let us accord Father Conlon, our old friend and helper, not the weak honour of faltering words, but the same faithful and cheerful service of God and man, the highest of all praise, whole-hearted imitation.

A H R

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1933

Obituary

Father Felix Conlon

It is my sad privilege to voice the thought of Riverview mourning the loss of one of its most lovable children. To refer thus to him is but to speak the truth; for: as a boy and as a priest Felix Conlon radiated the lovableness begotten of the simplicity of a child. There was no violent change, no reversal of principles, no complete remoulding of character as the bright lad of Rudiments A developed into the Jesuit priest of later years. The seed but fructified and grew and brought forth its flower; and the fruit that was plucked before the time of full maturity had in its charm nothing that was not al ways there. One saw in the man and the priest just those features which were conspicuous in him as a boy; for his character was perfected, not changed, by grace.

The large dark eye that used to gleam at our old master's (Fr Michael Garahy SJ) paroxysms of humour to the end never missed the whimsical and the laughable. As a boy the all-unconscious candour and singleness of purpose that marked him out and made him friends of all, drew others to him as a man - and they revered him. His character sunny, rather than boisterously good humoured, - placid is perhaps the word that describes it best - made his school-fellows his chums, and his associates in later life his friends. Uncongenial work lost its irksomeness if it were a duty; for his whole mind was centred on it. To help another, to him was second nature, and he never stopped to weigh the cost - and thus he died, facing danger without flinching when a stranger was in need of aid. “Greater love than this....”

For three years we were together in Riverview ('00-'03), he leading his class and shining most in classics. Two different types, we were ever friends and shared the fun of schoolboy life and all its minor troubles. We bandied words on the respective worth of the Avon of New Zealand and of his northern Clarence River; we risked a furtive whisper in the study hall at night; we were much in each other's company - just schoolboy friends, neither ever letting other know the secret that he cherished of one day being a priest. It was thus a surprise, though not wholly unexpected, when one morning three years later he arrived at the Jesuit novitiate (then in Ireland) when I was just about to leave it. His father brought him, and that good man's gratitude at having amongst his children one chosen by the Master for His service, was mingled with sorrow at the parting.

The time of probation ended, Felix took his vows and in the two years prior to philosophy won high results in Greek and Latin, thus laying the foundation for the work that was later to be his as a teacher in Xavier. His philosophy was done in Gemert, thus giv ing him the valuable asset of a foreign language, spoken well and fluently. During these years we saw little of each other, but were to meet again in Australia. Prior to ordination we were not stationed in the same college, but we regularly corresponded. His teaching period was done in Xavier where he was a valuable member of the staff. From there he returned to Ireland for theology.

It was after ordination that we came more into contact with each other; and I learned the better to appreciate the quiet, serious, good humoured, spiritually minded friend ever ready to put his best effort into the various works that were assigned him. Thus as a priest at Xavier his gentleness attracted to him those in trouble; his pleasant humour and imperturbable patience made him an efficient teacher and one able unconsciously to impart to others the culture that was his; his old schoolboy love of sport was used to advantage, for it was under his leadership as Rowing Master that Xavier first showed its prowess on the water, and for a second time in succession captured the coveted title of Head of the River.

But he was wanted elsewhere. The Society of Jesus choses for the post of “Socius to the Master of Novices” only one who by his sterling character and charm of manner can be relied upon to round off in external matters the spiritual training of the novices. And so he was transferred to Loyola, to Xavier's loss and Loyola's gain. And now after just one year of work amongst those who themselves are to be the workers in the Master's vineyard, he has suddenly and tragically left us. He went, speeding on an errand of selfless kindness, when shark infested waters and treacherous currents imperilled another's life. For his friends who miss him is there not comfort in the Master's words Who called him: “As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me”?

H B Loughnan SJ

-oOo-

Father Conlon was granted, posthumously, by The Surf Life Saving Association of Australia their highest award, the Meritorious Award in Silver. The follow ing is the report of the Association :

Avoca Beach (N.S.W.), 19th January, 1933
Sydney Lambert and George Payne were swept from the rocks during a heavy sea, and both were in extreme danger. Fortunately Payne was washed back and was able to go for assistance. A box-line was brought to the spot, and after a number of attempts Lambert managed to grasp a life-belt that was thrown to him. Owing to the heavy surf breaking on the rocks it was impossible to pull him in, so it was decided to draw him along until he could be landed on the beach

This operation proved extremely dangerous. The line frequently became entangled in the rocks, and had to be freed at the water's edge where the waves were breaking heavily. The line was freed by Stanley Pickett of Avoca, and Father Louis Loughnan, Rector of Riverview College. Both suffered badly through being cut about during their efforts by the jagged rocks, and Father Loughnan was forced, as a result, to spend some weeks in hospital.

While these activities were in progress, news of the trouble reached the guest house, “Sea Spray," where Mr J D Miller, a member of the Avoca Club, and who received the Bronze Medal of the Association last year for a brilliant rescue, was in bed resting a bad leg.

Undeterred by his incapacity, Mr Miller volunteered to take a boat out through the surf. In this dangerous undertaking Father Felix Conlon and Mr Bernard O'Brien were ready to join. They succeeded in launching the boat, but before getting clear of the surf it was capsized and the occupants were precipitated into the water. All were fully clothed. Mr Miller secured lifebelts that were stowed in the nose of the boat and gave one each to his companions. It is difficult to ascertain exactly what happened after this. Mr Miller decided to swim for the shore and asked the others to follow him. Father Conlon disappeared and was not seen again. Mr O'Brien remained with the capsized boat, which was carried by the current along the beach. Mr O'Brien was washed from the boat by a large wave, but fortunately, when exhausted, he was rescued by C Ives of the Avoca Life-Saving Club, who, with R Pickett, another member, arrived with a reel at a critical time.

In the meantime, Lambert was brought safely to shore, and eye-witnesses stated that “There was no doubt that his rescue was due to the efforts of Stanley Pickett and Father Loughnan”.

AWARDS: Meritorious Award in Silver, posthumously to the late Father Felix Conlon, Certificate of Merit to Father Louis Loughnan, Stanley Pickett, Bernard O'Brien, J D Miller.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after the ordeal, but obviously pleased that a thorough investigation had been made, and also relieved that nothing serious had been discovered. The remainder of that day went in the usual community round and he retired after Litanies at 9 o'clock. Next morning he was up in good time and apparently fully dressed when he felt the first warning of a heart attack, without seeming to recognised it as such. When it was just time to go down for Mass he came out to the corridor and, finding one of the Community nearby, asked him to come over to his room. Here he explained in a few words the symptoms of a sudden attack which seemed to puzzle rather than frighten or distress him. With a slight hesitation he accepted a suggestion to lie down for a while, then stretched himself as he was full length on his bed and seemed to settle down to rest. In perhaps less than a minute more, and with only a slight sign of struggle, he had passed into unconsciousness.
Father Rector was immediately summoned and anointed him. All the available members of the Community gathered to say the last prayers.
At the Solemn Office and Requiem on Monday His Lordship the Bishop presided and gave the last Absolution. Father Rector was celebrant of the Mass and Father Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. A large number of priests and laity were present.
Fr. Corbett was born on 27th December, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes he entered the Noviciate on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual period of Noviceship and Juniorate was completed he was sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy where he remained three years. His first year of colleges was spent in his Alma Mater as Prefect and Editor of The Clongownian. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere, where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Messenger for two years, In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years. In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the school of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field.
Fr. Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness, increasing with the years and so patiently borne, he always managed to keep contact with the brethren and to contribute a full share to the happiness and gaiety of every one. The community was his home, he was never willingly far away, Polite and courteous - in a word, found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. His sound judgment, accurate memory and shrewd sense were recognised, and his verdict or opinion sought on a variety of subjects. Was there a big legal case or a sworn inquiry in the news - he was in his element commenting on the cross examination, speculating on the probable result. Invariably he would recall a similar case of long ago, or tell a good story of a clever swindle or a dramatic arrest-his stories in this line were numerous, but he had many others too, not all in serious vein, of course, but all told word perfect. In matters of practical bearing on the improvement of Mungret, which indeed he ever had at heart, his suggestions were listened to by Superiors with respect and often acted on with profit. It was no small tribute to his practical versatility that he was chosen by Fr. Fahy, when Provincial, to take charge of the arrangements for the preparation of St. Mary's, Emo, for the Novices in 1930. When he was Master of a Villa the community could be confident that every detail would be seen to, in particular that the commissariat would be all right. They could be sure too, incidentally, that, kind-hearted though he was, a modicum of discipline would be maintained for the good of everyone. Fr. Corbett was himself, first and last, a man of regularity, who did not believe in avoidable absence or un - punctuality in community duties. His own example in this, and in particular his devotion to the Brothers' Points night after night for over twenty years were most edifying.
But no picture of Fr. Corbett could be complete without the old bicycle. The local people will surely miss the vision of the ageing priest, upright on the high frame, quietly and purposely pushing his way, hugging the side of the road - he took no needless risks - as the cars and lorries whisked past. It was his afternoon recreation, simple, inexpensive and healthy, and must have kept him not only healthy but cheerful and bright in darker times. He loved the countryside, the stretch of Lough More, the ploughed fields, the waving corn. He loved the Limerick Docks and the ships from all parts - to speak here and there perhaps with an old friend or acquaintance and then to tell at home of all he heard and saw. “A grand old man” “a noble priest” “a most loyal Jesuit”, they said about him.
At the turn of the year, when days are lengthening, a season of hope, he liked to talk about and think upon, it was then it came the day that knows no darkening - “that the highest Truth ever enlightened, a day always secure and never changing its state for the contrary”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Corbett SJ 1876-1957
Like Fr William Kane, Fr Martin Corbett was connected so long with Mungret as to become almost identified with it. Like Fr Kane too, his imposing frame seated on the inevitable bicycle was familiar to all the inhabitants of Mungret and the denizens of the Docks. This was his invariable form of recreation and exercise for years.

A man of remarkable gifts of mind, he was hampered throughout his life by deafness, yet his judgement and practical ability were prized by Superiors.

He held the post of Procurator in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret, and was chosen for his administrative ability by the Provincial Fr Fahy, to open our new house at Emo.

He was a valuable asset in the community, a model of punctuality and observance, faithful to the duties assigned to him, teaching English and Physics to the Apostolic School for many years. All of these past Apostolics will remember him with affection and gratitude.

He had quite a flair for writing in his younger days and wrote a couple of boys’ stories which had a wide circulation published by the CTSI and the Messenger Office.

He died quite suddenly on January 5th 1957 in his 81st year, having lived 61 years in the Society he loved so well.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Father Corbett was born on December 27th, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, he entered the Novitiate on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual studies of Humanities and Philosophy were completed, he returned to Clongowes as Prefect and editor of “The Clongownian”. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Irish Messenger for two years. In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years, after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years; In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret College, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the School of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Although Fr Corbett was not an Old Boy of the College it would be ungracious not to pay a tribute to him considering the number of years he was on the staff.

In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret where he was first Procurator of the House and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching English and Physics in the Apostolic School. In this work he c012 tinued to the end and will no doubt be remembered by many an old Mungret priest on the Mission field.

Fr Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness he always managed to keep in contact with others in the College, and contribute to the happiness and gaiety of everyone. Polite and courteous-found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. He was always ready to stop and chat with others about local topics in which he had a great interest. He had a great interest in past students of the College, and a great interest in the College itself. He was deeply devoted to its welfare. In his death we are sure he was remembered by many a far flung Apostolic with love and respect. To his brother and relatives we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

-oOo-

In Memory of Father Corbett SJ - RIP

By O Kemp

He was a man, a man of God
He fought for right, he fought the wrong
But now he's laid beneath the sod
His life was like one long sweet song.

Although he's gone, there still remains
A memory we hold most dear
A golden sheet without a stain
A life heroic without fear.

Then let his lasting epitaph be
He loved all as the one above
He departed life lightly and free
To all he gave his labour and love.

And then o'er his lonely grave at night
As the bloss'ming flowers sway to and fro
As the twinkling stars above show their light
On his lonely gyavestone on earth below
We send up a prayer which comes from our hearts
That he may go to God ne'er more to part
And may he abide with his cherished reward
With God and His Mother to act as his guard.

Corboy, James P, 1880-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1101
  • Person
  • 14 March 1880-27 June 1922

Born: 14 March 1880, Grange, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1922, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1903
by 1913 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he stayed at Tullabeg to study Rhetoric. Later he went to Vals for Philosophy.
1903 He was sent to Australia for a Regency teaching in Sydney.
After his Regency he did Theology at Milltown and Innsbruck and was Ordained 1913.
He then made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1916 He was a Teacher at Mungret, and was appointed Rector there in 1917.
1721 He was sent to Clongowes as a Missioner.
His health failing he died in Dublin 27 June 1922

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1896-1900 He entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg and after First Vows he continued for two years Juniorate.
1900-1903 He was sent to Vals and Kasteel Gemert for Philosophy
1903-1904 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney for Regency
1905-1910 He continued his regency at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was First Prefect, was involved with senior rowing and senior debating master.
1910 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology and also at Innsbruck, Austria, followed by Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1917-1920 He was sent as Rector to Mungret College Limerick
1920-1921 He was sent to Coláiste Iognáid Galway
1921-1922 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College

Coyne, John J, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Unlce of Jimmy McPolin - RIP 2005 and John Russell

Early education at Christian Brothers College Cork and Clongowes Wood College SJ
Studied for an MA in Classics at UCD and awarded a Studentship in 1912-1913

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant (Substitute English Assistant)
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des 0’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Brussels Congress :
Fr. Rector (John Coyne) and Fr. J. O'Meara (Louvain) represented the College at the First International Gongress of Catholic Secondary Education, held at Brussels July 28 . August 2. Fr, O'Meara read a paper on State Aid in Irish Secondary Education. Our Irish Jesuit Colleges were well represented in the Exhibition organised by Fr. Corcoran S. J.

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, Not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 3 1978

Obituary :

Fr John Coyne (1889-1978)

Father John Coyne was born in Dunmore, Co. Galway on 28 April 1889 where both his father and mother were teaching. Within a couple of years his father became an inspector of schools, and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a brief spell in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then Cavan and then in 1902 to Cork. After three years with the Christian Brothers on Patrick’s Hill, John came to Clongowes in 1905. He used to say that he felt the first feeble stirrings of vocation while in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, but that the call was peremptory one night in his cubicle in Clongowes when he felt “visited” by an overpowering grace of God: “a wave of deep peace and brightest light flooded my soul to its deepest”.
Two aspects of his youth will surprise those of us who came to know him only after his curial training in Rome: his mother whose parents were English found her favourite reading in John Mitchell's “Jail Journal”; secondly one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was in losing the Junior Munster Final, in which he played as a forward, to Presentation College when at the last moment a sturdy Presentation full-back dropped a goal from half-way which soared between the posts. That he took exhibitions, medals and prizes in his stride is what one expects; his father used to con a chapter of St Luke’s Greek with him every Sunday.
Though only one year in Clongowes he was much in luck to find among his masters four scholastics: Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O’Keeffe. Among his classmates in that year’s Rhetoric were Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Tom O'Malley and J B O'Connell, later to become an authority on matters liturgical. Paddy McGilliagan beat him by 25 marks for a medal in Latin.
When he decided to offer himself to the Society the then Provincial, Father John S Conmee, began his chat in this way: “Well John, what makes you want to join the ‘crafties’: that is how Dublin priest speak of us?” Later Father Conmee visited I Rhetoric during Latin class, and John was asked to construe “O fons Bandusiae”.
In the following September eight novices turned up in Tullabeg: among them Hugh Kelly from Westport, John Deevy from Waterford, Henry Johnson from Belfast, Michael Meeney from Limerick, Denis Nerney and John from Cork. In Tullabeg for a year and a half Father James Murphy was his novice master: John liked to tell how Father Murphy, like an Old Testament Prophet, summoned all his novices round his bed, recalling for the last time the great principles of Ignatian spirituality by which his novices were to live. Father Murphy died on 28th March 1908, and his Socius, Fr Tighe took over until Father Michael Browne was appointed in August,
After his first vows on 8 September 1908, he and his fellows moved to another table and wore their birettas. For his first two years he was coached by Fr John Keane and Mr Dan Finn in Tullabeg, going to Dublin only to sit for the Royal University exams. In his third year 86 St Stephen's Green had become the Dublin College of the new National University, so the Juniors moved up to Milltown. His Greek Professor was Father Henry Browne and for Latin Paddy Semple.
He took his MA In 1912: his thesis dealt with Hellenism as a force in Eastern life and thought; he spent most of this year in Trinity Library as facilities in 86 were understandably limited. He spent the Christmas term teaching English and Latin in Belvedere, but early in the new year Father T V Nolan, recently appointed Provincial, sent him back to Milltown to prepare himself for the travelling studentship in Classics coming up in the following September.
John won the studentship and was posted to Innsbruck. By a stroke of luck he met on the Holyhead boat the extern examiner for his thesis and his oral, Professor J S Reid, a notable Ciceronian scholar; generously the Professor gave him a letter of introduction to Professor Rudolf von Scala in Innsbruck, chief expert on Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome. Scala gave him a warm welcome, the run of his library and welcome to his lectures. With disappointment on John’s part he suggested as the subject of his Bodenpreise (Ground Rents). As sources for his thesis in Innsbruck were thin, John moved to Munich after Christmas where there was a flourishing centre for the study of papyri under the direction of an Austrian named Wenger. Occasionally Wenger invited small groups to his home for a beer evening where his wife proved a charming hostess. Here he used to meet from time to time Hermann Grisar, then the authority on Luther, and Peter Lippart.
Summer vacation drew him back to Innsbruck; fortunately he had a fortnight's villa before the war broke out. The Jesuits undertook care of the wounded, beginning to trickle back from the Serbian front. With a crash course from a Viennese doctor, they took over a large building to serve as a hospital. In May 1915 British subjects had to get out of Innsbruck as Italy had entered the war and was planning to force the Brenner Pass. Three Irish Jesuits Fr Tim Halpin, recently ordained, John and Dan Finn made their way to Vienna.
John was drafted to Kalksburg, where he spent three years as a spare tyre: “parratus ad omnia” as he loved to quote to us, novices. One year on returning from Christmas holidays Prince Liechtenstein brought the mumps with him; spreading through the school rapidly some 150 boys were affected. As the Brothers had all been called to the colours, John spent from January to May as a nurse: more serious were one case of scarlatina, one of typhoid, and the most critically ill of all was the Archduke Godfrey of Salsburg down with serious pneumonia. Trying enough as the nursing with its broken nights was, John preferred it to being gallery prefect, sitting in a glass box, regulating traffic, ringing bells or covering a sick or weary prefect’s beat. Sanctions were difficult: no corporal punishment to deter slackers or offenders-only detention or, for the younger boys, putting them in the booby corner. One Pole, called the Black Prince because of his dark features, had been recalled from an English public school and found Kalksburg considerably more to his liking,
His next move was to Poland to finish his philosophy at Nowy Sacz (now Sardac), a town two hours journey south of Cracow. His main task was to prepare for his “de universa”, and in keeping with Jesuit custom, to learn the language of the house of studies in which he lived: this time a Slav language.
On returning from Poland he taught in Clongowes for the year 1919-20, and liked to tell that one of his boys later broke his gavel in a vain attempt to stem Kruschev’s eloquence at UNO in New York - and subsequently became the first Catholic Chancellor of Trinity.
In the Autumn of 1920 he went to Milltown for theology: by a war-time privilege he was ordained at the end of his second year on 15 August 1922. After two more years in theology he went to Exaten in eastern Holland to do his tertianship in a German community (1924-5).
On the status of 1925 he was assigned to study Scripture in Rome but at the last moment he was asked to fill a gap by becoming substitute secretary to the English Assistant, Fr Joseph Welsby, previously Tertian instructor in Tullabeg. For his first year and a half he lived in the German College while the new curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito was being built. He quickly learned the “stylus Curiae” and after three years Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become Rector of Belvedere.
Fr Martin Maher, a long-time novice master, was beginning to fail and John was appointed to replace him in the Spring of 1931. The present writer entered the novicehsip the following September; we were the only group to have him alone for our master. He was a dedicated Ledochowski man, as indeed was his then Provincial, Fr Larry Kieran, whose contact with Fr General was 99% epistolatry. Fr John had an outstanding devotion to Our Lord, at times over emotional in its expression; eager to tell us that we had not real Ignatian indifference unless we kept one foot in the air; insistent on the 'magis' of the Exercises which meant his novices must be grounded in “agere contra”, and, at least, have a desire to live in the third degree. I think it would not be unfair to describe him as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist. His war-time experiences had taken a great deal out of him and one sensed the strain. Many of us found it difficult to feel relaxed in our regular visits to him: we waited for an opening as he gazed out the window at Dairy hill and played rather nervously with a paper knife. He found “priming the pump” difficult.
Not that he was inhuman but he didn't believe in showing that side to his novices. He did to his Provincial when he wrote to say that, for days on end, apart form the Community, all he ever saw was the postman and, occasionally, a stray dog. A few months break from Emo towards the end of 1933 didn't help to reduce the tension under which he was living; he was simple and humble enough to ask his Provincial to accept his resignation.
If his first three appointments were each three years long, his next one was to last almost twenty-five years: February 1935 until mid June 1959. Over that span he served as Socius to four Provincials. I think he would like to be described as “idus Achates”; but a Socius in the Society is much more than a secretary; ex officio he is one of the four Province consultors. In Fr Kieran’s reign both he and his Socius were too like-minded. Though Fr Kieran met Fr Ledochowski only once in the General Congregation of 1938, from his appointment as Provincial in 1931 he was an all-out Ledochowski man: “actio in distans non repugnat”. His successor in the difficult war years, Fr John R MacMahon, knew his own mind as did his successor Fr Tommy Byrne who founded three houses and took on commitments in Northern Rhodesia - the Zambia of today. Father Louis O’Grady, for reasons of health and temperament, left Province decisions rest far too much on his Socius, Father John.
On retiring from his unselfish devotion to a typewriter for twenty five years, from letters and forms to Rome, from Collecting informations for fitness for Hong kong or Zambia, for suitability for ordinations, and for government, and, perhaps, most tedious of all, bringing out the annual “Catalogus”, he was posted to Gardiner Street as operarius. Even as Socius pastoral work appealed to him: for years he guided two praesidia of the Legion of Mary, his first experience of it being in Rome when an ecumenical praesidium was formed in the mid-twenties: it didn't last long as the non-Catholics couldn't stomach the rigidity of the Handbook. He struck up a real friendship with Paddy Reynolds, Lord Wicklow's astute partner in Clonmore and Reynolds. Though Paddy had a heart of gold, in language he’d outdo any trooper. As a result John translated a number of German books which, to his delight, Reynolds managed to sell- despite the fact that John had a taste fot the “turgid” German.
Five years later (1964) carrying out what he had taught us in Emo, the “magis” of the Exercises, he accepted the invitation of the Polish Archbishop of Lusaka to set the Mission Archives in order. Though his Provincial, Fr Charlie O'Connor, suggested a stay of six months, John, apart from one furlough, spent almost ten years in Zambia where he wished to leave his bones.
By 1966 a new presbytery had been built adjoining the modern Church of St Ignatius. With his work on the archives completed he joined the Irish parish community, taking on the duties of a curate at the age of 77: baptisms, marriages, pre-marriage courses, keeping the parish registers. As most of the community was working outside the house, he acted as porter, answered the phone, dealt with callers. One of the Community - no great admirer of John in his Socius days - prevailed on him to take a glass of grog every night, and so he learned to relax.
Returning to Zambia in 1969 after a break in Ireland, he was able to spend four days in Greece - from the human point of view the highlight of his life. Less than three years later he had to return to Ireland on stringent medical advice, but he refused to hang up his boots. Between bouts in hospital he continued translation work, was no “laudator temporis acti” but had a warm welcome, a keen interest in the theologians whose régime was so different to what he had experienced when Fr Peter Finlay and Matt Devitt were the stars in his student days (1920-1924).
May the Lord reward him for his enthusiasm and generosity; may he win for his two Jesuit nephews of whom he was so proud, for his three sisters and all the family, abundant grace.
RBS.
PS. For most of the facts in this notice I have drawn from a sixty-one page typescript which Father John was prevailed upon to write in his last year in Milltown (1977): It is, in the main, Province history with little personal comment and remarkably restrained in passing judgments “discreta caritas”. (RBS).

◆ The Clongownian, 1978

Obituary

Father John Coyne SJ

John Coyne had moved round Ireland more than most of hie generation when he joined Rhetoric in September 1905; His father was an Inspector of Schools, so John Moved from Dunmore to Dublin, then to Tralee, next to Cavan and finally to Cork. His contemporaries in class included Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Canon J B O'Connell and Tom O'Malley who moved furthest afield to Malaya, as it then was. A formidable team of Scholastics stretched them to good effect: Messrs Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O'Keeffe. Paddy McGilligan beat John for the Latin medal by 25 marks.

One readily associates exhibitions, medals, prizes, even a travelling studentship with Fr John, but it will come as a surprise to those who knew him in later life that one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was when as a dashing forward the Munster Schools Junior Cup was snatched from his team when at the last moment the Pres full back dropped a goal from half way.

As a young Jesuit he had rather a unique travelling studentship: he spent his first term in Innsbruck, after Christmas moved to Munich, and was lucky enough to have a fortnight's holiday in the Austrian Alps before war broke out. Until Italy entered the war in May 1915 he worked in a make-shift hospital the Jesuits set up in Innsbruck, but with the Italians forcing the Brenner Pass he had to move to Vienna, and then to Poland for three years in Nowy Sacz, south of Cracow. On returning from Poland he taught for a year in Clongowes (1919-20). After four years Theology in Milltown he did his Tertianship in Exaten in eastern Holland.

Destined for Scripture study in Rome, at the last minute he was switched to a secretarial post in the Jesuit Curia. Three years later he was sent back to Ireland as Rector of Belvedere; then he was named Novice-master at Emo. So many switches were to be followed by an unprecedented stint of almost 25 years as Socius to four Provincials.

At the age of 75 he went out to Lusaka and spent almost ten years in Zambia. He came home on stringent medical advice but, though two or three times at death's door, he continued to keep alert and, more than occupied, in his favourite hobby, translating from German. He died within a few months of his eighty-ninth birthday, quite at home in the world of post-Vatican II.

We offer our sympathy especially to his three sorrowing sisters and all his family, not forgetting his nephew Fr John Russell SJ (OC 1941-43) who has recently completed his term as Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong.

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/120
  • Person
  • 27 August 1899-30 April 1982

Born: 27 August 1899, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 30 April 1982, St Joseph's Nursing Home, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of his death.

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr Vincent Dennehy (1899-1917-1982)

My first glimpse of Vincent Dennehy was on 1st September 1919; he was a Junior preparing himself for the University; the place was Tullabeg. His singular carriage of his head and his red face singled him out from the others.
Ten years later in the theologate at Milltown Park we really got to know each other. He was a most helpful and thoughtful person. He was keen that all in the house should share in all that went on. When we revived the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at Christmas time he arranged to have a short play or sketch put before the G & S musical. This was done in order that those who were not singers might have a medium in which to entertain their fellow-students and guests.
He was ordained in Congress year, on 14th June 1932. The ordinations were early that year so that we might exercise the ministry to celebrate the bringing of the Gospel to Ireland by St Patrick.
Once the Congress got under way there followed a gruelling beginning to the priestly life in the Dublin churches; midnight often saw us returning from a day spent hearing confessions. It was an immediate and satisfying beginning to our priestly life.
A year later we were together in St Beuno's, North Wales, for our tertianship. This time of renewal was well spent in many acts of sharing and good-fellow- ship. Fr Vincent stood out in this respect and was always in good humour, so that despondent persons found in him a very rational and down-to-earth remedy for their worries.
He was always a man of principle and indeed his favourite argument in favour was always “the principle of the thing”.

A good human Jesuit of those days, untiring in doing good for others, and loyal to the Ignatian way.
At the Crescent, Limerick (1939-949), with Fr Bill Saul (d. 1976), he was involved in the revival of the Cecilian Musical Society in the 1940s. The daughter of the regiment was one of the shows staged by the CMS in those days.

From the time he was assigned to the duty of promoting the cause of Fr John Sullivan, Fr Vincent found a renewal of energy and a stimulating purpose. He really rejoiced in his close association with Fr John and during the many years of his apostolate of promotion he gained the co-operation and affection of a large number of persons. Vincent’s zeal for the work was infectious – so much so that he could and did enlist the help of a number of car owners; from them he formed a panel of drivers, each one pledged to call for him at 6.15 pm on the day of the week agreed upon. From that hour until 10 pm or later he was brought to hospitals and private houses to bless with Fr John's crucifix all who had been listed for that particular day. At a late snack between 10.30 and 11 one could be sure of meeting a very tired but happy Fr Vincent.
North of the Border there is widespread devotion to Fr John, and Vincent travelled there whenever he was wanted. He was in Belfast very shortly after the attempted murder of Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) and was delighted to have been called to bless the still unconscious young woman. That she recovered was, no doubt, due to Fr John's intercession, Vincent was so unsparing of himself and so utterly dedicated to his apostolate that he could be quite testy with anyone who seemed to impede or belittle the work. Nor would he allow Fr John to be second fiddle to anyone else however renowned for sanctity. If a patient had on display a picture of someone such as Padre Pio, Fr Vincent passed by! When Vincent's long suffering ended in death I am sure Fr John was at the gate to welcome his confrère and friend.

Dillon, Edward J, 1874-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/801
  • Person
  • 05 September 1874-29 July 1969

Born: 05 September 1874, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died 29 July 1969, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
The most important event of the past quarter in Gardiner Street was Fr. Dillion's Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated on 20th May. A large gathering of his near-contemporaries and those who had been stationed with him during his long and distinguished career in the Society agreed heartily with the felicitous tributes paid to the Jubilarian by Father Provincial and Father Superior and others. This is not the place for an advance obituary notice as Fr. Dillon himself would be the first to reckon our praise: but we cannot omit our tribute on behalf of Gardiner Street to all that he contributes both to our edification and our entertainment. His photographic memory ranges as easily from London in the nineties to Old Trafford in the fifties as from Beaumont to Mungret, and brings alive again all the Society stalwarts and “characters” of the past : our recreations would be vastly the poorer without his reminiscences and our link with the traditions of our predecessors very much the weaker. Withal he is still sturdily at the service of the faithful “ from the distinguished gentleman who will tell you - not that he goes to confession to Fr. Dillion - but that he “consults him professionally”, to the old ladies of seventy-five who are “worried about the fast”. Long may he continue with us!

Irish Province News 44th Year No 4 1969

Obituary :

Fr Edward Dillon SJ (1874-1969)

Fr. Edward Dillon died at Talbot Lodge, Blackrock on July 29th. He was within five weeks of his ninety fifth birthday, and was seventy two years in the Society. He was born in Dunlaoire on September 5th, 1874, and was educated at Belvedere, St. Gall's (Stephen's Green), Beaumont and Trinity College.
He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg on May 20th, 1897. Fr. James Murphy was his novice master.
For Philosophy he went to Vals, in the Toulouse province.
As a scholastic he taught for one year at Belvedere, one year at Clongowes, and three years at Mungret.
He did Theology, and in 1910 was ordained, at Milltown. His tertianship was at Tronchiennes, Belgium
In 1911 he went to Mungret as Prefect of Discipline. Two years afterwards he began a five year term as Minister at the Crescent. sometimes referred to as “the Dillon-Doyle regime”.
After a period of twelve years teaching at Belvedere, Fr. Dillon became Rector of Mungret.
Two years at Rathfarnham Retreat House followed. From 1938 till his death he was on the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, but for some years he was in the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity at Talbot Lodge,
Fr. Dillon's life stretched far into the past, and during his noviceship there were two priests, Frs. C. Lynch and P. Corcoran who were born about 150 years ago; but he was never out of touch with the present. He was never out of date or old-fashioned in his outlook or ways.
Fr. Dillon had a rare gift for dealing with boys. As Prefect in Mungret he made things go with a swing. He was generous in providing splendid equipment for the games. He improved the libraries and organised the “shop” so that the boys got good value. He was quick and energetic, and could join skilfully and cheerfully in any game. He was not severe, but had no difficulty in controlling boys, who had confidence in him and respected him.
It is recalled by a Father who was in the Community with Fr. Dillon during part of his long period of teaching at Belvedere, 1919-31, that he was an excellent teacher. He taught Honours Latin classes, but also during his teaching career he taught Greek and French.
He did not mix much with the boys outside class. He used to attend, in a class-room in the Junior House at Belvedere to enrol boys for membership of the Pioneer Association. There were no big meetings, big Notices, but “what went on behind those closed doors only Fr. Cullen (in heaven) knows”.
During this time at Belvedere he was very attentive to an invalid brother who lived at Clonsilla. He cycled out regularly to visit him.
In 1931 Fr. Dillon returned to Mungret as Rector. In 1932 he had a busy time organising celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the College. He succeeded in gathering a great number of past pupils, among them some Bishops from America and Australia who had been Apostolic students, and were in Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress. He had a contemporary of his own, Fr. Garahy, to preach.
While in Mungret he got the College connected with the Shannon Scheme, dismantling the old power house, which had done its work. He also had the telephone installed! There was, no motor car in Mungret in those days, and one remembers Fr. Dillon frequently “parking” his bicycle at the Crescent when he visited the city.
From 1936-38 Fr. Dillon gave retreats at Rathfarnham.
From there he moved to Gardiner Street. He entered zealously into the various activities of the Church. He prepared carefully for preaching. His sermons were direct and practical. He had an easy fluency in speaking and a pleasant and clear voice; and he gained the people's attention as he leaned confidentially over the edge of the pulpit.
His preparation was also notable in another work which took much of his time, the instruction and reception of converts. A sister of his in the Convent next door, Sister Bride, also instructed many of the converts who were received at St. Francis Xavier's. Sister Bride was also well known as a “missioner”, visiting the district. Mountjoy prison was in her area of zeal, and she met and counselled many who were under the death sentence.
Fr. Dillon for some years gave the Domestic Exhortations, which he prepared carefully. Preparation, planning, foresight were in deed very characteristic in his life.
As a confessor he was a very busy man. He had a worldly wisdom that stood him in good stead, and many sought him out because of this. But he was a patient, kind and sympathetic priest, and a great favourite.
Community recreation was always the better and livelier for his presence. His easy manner, conversation and sense of fun enlivened the daily meetings.
For many years at Gardiner Street, he was still as active, alert and full of energy as ever. Games still interested him, though I do not think he went to watch them much. He was still keen on golf, and played it fairly often. His slight figure sped quickly around the course, and he came back with a healthy glow on his face from the outing.
His brother and other members of his family were interested and much engaged with horses and racing, and Fr. Eddie always kept a very remarkable interest in the important races. Even when, at last, sight and hearing were almost gone, he would try to pick up the story of the big races from the TV at Talbot Lodge.
In his last years Fr. Dillon won the admiration of all by the gentle, patient way in which he bore a life of great handicaps and discomfort, and quite an amount of pain. His many ailments did not seem to lessen the robustness of his heart and constitution; though he grew progressively more helpless, needing first one stick, then two, and at last almost unable to move from his bed.
His mind was certainly not affected by his ailments. He was quick to catch the subject of a conversation. He kept up his interest in the community and the Province. He had a great memory which enabled him to relate interesting episodes of the past, or to recount any news he had heard from visitors. He had, during life, made many constant friends, and some of them were able to keep contact with him to the end. His two nieces from Bray were most devoted to him. They visited him regularly, and he was deeply grateful to them, and also to the staff at Talbot Lodge who gave him such care and kindness.
Fr. Dillon was never an effusive man, in any sentimental way; but in the last months when, though still having use of his. faculties and clarity of mind, he felt he had not long to live, he let his appreciation of friendship shown him, appear very visibly. The prospect of the end he felt to be very near, seemed to make him glow with happiness.
Eternal life be his.

Donnelly, Daniel, 1898-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/126
  • Person
  • 18 October 1898-12 June 1975

Born: 18 October 1898, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 12 June 1975, Vinayalaya Novitiate, Mumbai, India

Part of the Campion School, Mumbai, Marharashtra, India community at the time of death

Older brother of D Leo Donnelly - RIP 1999

by 1922 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1927 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1933 at Hong Kong
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - Language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1946 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, Darjeeling & Himalaya Railway (DH Ry), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - teaching
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1951 at St Stanislaus, Bandra, Mumbai, India (TARR) teaching
by 1957 at St Xavier’s Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1963 at St Mary’s High School, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1964 at De Nobili Pune (PUN) teaching
by 1968 at St Xavier’s, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1973 at Campion School Mumbai, India (BOM)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Joseph TaiYu-kuk Entry
He was a teenager in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He had joined a group of a dozen Catholics who, it was hoped, might one day become priests, under the charge of Father Dan Donnelly SJ.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
In his early years he had a brilliant academic career in the Sciences, and he produced a theory in ballistics which engineer’s used refer to as “Donnelly’s Theory”. he later lost interest in Science, but he did retain a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses, and in India he became a national expert in field hockey.

Always unpredictable, he was remembered with affection by many in the Province for his engaging - if at time exasperating - eccentricities. He originally came to Hong Kong in 1932 as one of the early pioneers of the Irish Province’s new Mission, having already spent a year in Rome as sub-Secretary for Missions. After two years in Shiuhing studying Chinese and doing some teaching there, he was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong in 1935, and he was Prefect of Studies there until 1939. In 1940 he began a small Jesuit Apostolic School at Tai Lam Chung which was intended to encourage vocations to the Society.

He spent 12 years in Hong Kong before heading to India on a mission of mercy with 12 Chinese boys towards the end of WWII in late 1944. He enjoyed India and they liked him there, so after a short return to Canton and Hong Kong after the war, he went to Mumbai in 1949 and spent the rest of his life there.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935
Works by Father Donal Donnelly SJ :

  1. “A Prisoner of Japan” - (Sheed & Ward).
  2. “Life of B. Charles Spinola, S.J.”
  3. “A Nobleman of Italy” - Sands & Co.
  4. “Life of St. AIoysius”
  5. “A Gallant Conquistador” - Browne & Nolan
  6. “Life ofB. Rudolf Acquaviva and Companions” - MS

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

IN ALIIS PROVINCIIS DEGENTES :

India :
Fr. D. Donnelly gave a series of Lenten Conferences to the men's sodality there on The Authority of the State, Obedience to Law. The Catholic in the Municipality, The Catholic in the State.

Fr. Donnelly to Province News, 20-3-46 :
“A batch of Chinese Navy men passed through Bombay on the way to England for training in December-January last. The Naval Chaplain brought me along to hunt up the Catholics among them. There proved to be very few Catholics, but two of the pagans were old Wah Yan boys, and they gave me a tremendous welcome. I got a big batch to Midnight Mass at Christmas. I also had one of the Wah Yan boys and three others under instruction, but they left for England before I could finish. However, I gave them a letter to the nearest Parish Priest in England.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Fr. Daniel Donnelly, St. Mary's High School, Bombay 10, writes :
I am at present in practically sole charge (one Brother to collect fees, one Father to teach Hindi) of a grand school of 1,100 boys, more than half of them Catholics. We get quite a few vocations every year; this year I am praying for half-a-dozen. The boys are mostly Goans, grand people. The non-Catholic boys are Parsees, Moslems and Hindus; and while very, very few are ever converted, they are wonderfully responsive to moral instruction, easily the most consoling classes which I teach. These young Indians are like no other boys whom I have taught in this : that once they take to you they give you their heart and are astonishingly loyal and friendly.
Retiring age over here is 65, so I have only another year to run as Principal. Then I hope to get away to “real” mission work in the districts. I'd have to learn Marathi, of course, but I learn languages easily, T.G.
We shall see.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

In his letters to various Jesuits in Ireland and Bombay, Don's brother, Fr Leo SJ, St Albert's College, Ranchi, wrote as follows:
“You will have been informed by cable of my brother’s death. He suffered a severe stroke in March and was paralysed on his left side. He became progressively weaker as he was unable to retain solid food. I was with him during the summer holidays, but started back on 10th June. After my return here I received a telegram announcing his death on 12th June, It was, in fact, a merciful release, as it was painful to see so active a man reduced to helplessness. Still, it makes me feel rather lonely.
Donal (latinised in the Society to Daniel) had a very full and happy life. For his early life I can supply a few details. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record. Under the old ‘Intermediate’ system he won a 1st Class Exhibition in each Grade, and at least one Gold Medal (first place in all Ireland in a given subject) each year (details in the Belvederian). At UCD his record is still, I think, unsurpassed. He took seven subjects in his first year, doing First Arts and First Science simultaneously, and got 1st Honours in all seven and 1st place in five, plus the Delaney Scholarship (this could be checked by reference to the files in UCD). He scored very high marks in the BSc, and MSc (equivalent to a PhD today as it involved research) He produced a theory of ballistics which engineers used to refer to as ‘Donnelly's Theory’. He was also enrolled as a student in Trinity College (his father's university) and won some prizes there - in particular a Foundation Scholarship. He entered the Society still under 21.
He inherited his love of and knowledge of horses from his father, who was an excellent judge. Don had a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses. I think he carried the whole Stud Book in his head, and knew the breeding of every horse running at that time. When he entered the Society he put all that completely aside, never 'talking horses'. It was only in 1963, when age compelled his retirement from headmastership and he was sent as Minister to our scholasticate in Pune (Poona), that he took it up again. There he discovered a number of stud farms in the neighbourhood, and seemed to take it as a hint from the Lord that it was permissible to use his talent in this field of apostolate. If you really know horses, you are accepted in the horsey confraternity, and so he moved with ease in that circle. At least he saw apostolic opportunities in meeting managers, owners and jockeys on their own ground. He liked to meet Irish jockeys who came to Bombay to ride, and he did them good. Ask Johnny Roe about that.
Don spent so little time in Ireland that he is not well known in the Province - now probably only by those whom he taught in Clongowes from 1923 to 26. But I know that he remained somewhat in touch with the Brutons of Kildare.
It would be difficult to discover the number of priestly vocations he fostered wherever he happened to be. During all his extremely successful career as Prefect of Studies he was above all interested in boys, rather than studies as such. The way he took up hockey in Bombay is an indication of that. It gave him a beneficial influence over a very large number of young people.
Naturally I am a bit prejudiced. All my life he has been an immense inspiration to me, and I still can't quite realise that he is gone. One would like to think that his influence will continue to do good, at least through his publications.
In spite of the amazing amount of work he managed to fit into the day, he always said two rosaries in addition to his Divine Office. Here is a quotation from a letter from a Hindu friend of his: ‘I was very grieved to learn that your dear brother, my good friend, passed away on 12th June. For the past many years we used to meet in Bombay during the annual bloodstock sales, and I used to look forward to the pleasure of seating him by my side and inviting comments on my lots for sale. In the process I learnt a great deal and valued his advice which was always unbiassed. I shall miss him sadly’.
From a letter of one of the boys Don brought from China to India, who entered the novitiate but was advised to leave on account of scruples (apparently Don and he corresponded for 25 years): ‘He was, I think, my ideal man. As a small boy, I was afraid of him, and then I grew to have an extraordinary respect for him both as a priest and for his intelligence; and all the time I had a sincere affection for him. My wife often says I have two fathers, my own and Father Donnelly. Now I certainly know that is true’. (The writer is now an artist and schoolmaster in England).
In case you have not got it otherwise, a short account of Don’s coming to India. In 1939, with no more scholastics coming from Ireland, the Language School in Hong Kong was turned into an Apostolic School. Don and Ned Sullivan were in charge of about 30 boys. When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, the School had to be abandoned. Don and some other Fathers made their way into Free China. Don went to an Apostolic School run by the Maryknoll Fathers, where twelve of his boys joined him. In 1943 the Japs made a drive to eliminate some air-fields used by the Americans, so Don, his boys and some Fathers had to move west. They ended up in Kunming in the south-west corner of China, nearest India. Eventually they were air-lifted to India ‘over the hump’ by RAF planes returning to India after having brought military supplies to China. In Calcutta he met Fr Conget, Superior of Bombay, who advised him to bring the boys to Bandra, the only boys' school which has an almost entirely Catholic pupil intake. Don remained there even after the end of the war to let the senior boys finish their matric exam. Then in 1947 he returned by sea to Hong Kong. The authorities there were not so keen on a large number of Chinese candidates, so most of the boys were ‘brushed off’. Only three were accepted, One left in the novitiate (scruples), one left in philosophy (lack of grey matter), one has been ordained - Fr Joseph Tai SJ.
Don went up to Canton, where he took charge of the Sacred Heart School (formerly run by the de la Salle Brothers for the Archbishop). When the Commies came in he was pushed out, and asked to return to India rather than remain in Hong Kong.
While learning Chinese in 1932, after some months with a teacher in Shiuhing, Don went to a village on the West river to to get practice by acting as assistant priest. Returning to the presbytery one day, he found a man chained to the railing of the church. The man was a leper, caught stealing and condemned to death. He was to be shot the following morning. Entering into conversation, Don discovered that the unfortunate man's mother had been a Catholic, though of course unable to practise her - religion once she had been engulfed in her husband's 'extended family'. Helped by the PP, Don instructed the man, gave him some food, and went back to supper, On an impulse the PP decided to baptise the man that evening - very fortunately, as the man was shot so early in the morning that they had no opportunity to speak to him again. The man was christened ‘Dismas?’

In Bombay, 1944-1975 (from the Bombay Province newsletter Samachar, July 1975):
Father Daniel Donnelly, after having laboured in Hong Kong and China for 12 years, came to Bombay on a mission of mercy with 15 Chinese boys. He liked us and we liked him, and after safely depositing his boys in their native land, he returned to Bombay for good and worked like a Trojan here for the next 25 years and more until he was struck by partial paralysis.
During these years he had time to work in most of our Bombay City houses, generally in the capacity of Rector and/or Principal and/or Minister and/or Parish Priest. He was never at the Institute of Education, Sodality House or Diocesan Seminary. At Vinayalaya he was only for some weeks as a sick man. De Nobili College, Poona, too had him for a couple of years as Minister and treasurer, and his last community was the one of the Christian Brothers in Bassein.
Barring the last three months, which he spent at the Holy Spirit Hospital or in the novitiate infirmary, he had always been in excellent health. He believed in brisk walking, light meals, early rising and hard quick work. Since childhood he loved horses, and from the day he landed in India he loved hockey.
His hobbies were solving a daily cross-word puzzle (for a time he composed one daily), an occasional game of patience, reading novels and also other more serious stuff (including science magazines - he was an MSc); and writing articles (by the dozen, and keeping two or three series abreast) for the Messenger and other papers. Many an author did not know (?) who had censored his book; Fr Donnelly knew at least one of the censors. Organizing school hockey leagues and tournaments and watching the games he considered not a hobby but part and parcel of his work in the all-round education of the boys.
As Rector and School Principal he could not be accused of curtailing the freedom of his subordinates or unduly interfering in their spheres of action. He expected every Jesuit, teacher or boy to do his duty. Even in the days of greater regimentation in schools, he could not pass as a disciplinarian.
He trusted boys, even when he knew some would take advantage of his kindness and liberality. Few did more than he did, chiefly in Bandra days, to foster vocations to the Society (for Bombay, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur). Yet it was well known that in his optimism he was inclined to count his candidates before they were hatched. Yet, in later years, he could count quite a few Jesuits whom he had encouraged to break the egg-shell. Some will remember the vocational booklets he wrote and the Bombay Vocation Exhibition (for the Seminary and for religious orders of men and women) he organized in Bandra.
He loved the Society and found it hard to reconcile his loyalty to the Jesuit spirit with some of the changes introduced in the last decade. In his lovable frankness and literary wit he showed what he thought of some modern trends in his devastating piece of satire - which he called parable or vision - whereby he regaled(?) the ears of scores of fellow Jesuits assembled on the terrace of St Xavier's High School one evening in 1969 to celebrate his 50 years in the Society.
Although his speech in ordinary conversation was at times difficult to follow there were some stories too about the legibility of his handwriting even when in block capitals), hardly anyone could miss a word when he spoke in public, which he did often. For a couple of years he was entrusted with the monthly domestic exhortation (you may recall that ancient custom) at St Xavier’s High School. He was always original, even if not to everybody's taste. Many a Catholic in Bandra, St Mary's and St Xavier's made it a point to attend Fr Donnelly's Sunday Mass to hear his sermons. You could never predict the subject of the homily, but most people found it interesting and profitable. On a certain Sunday he spoke on some changes in the Liturgy. The following Sunday he read out from the ambo two letters on the subject he had received from the pews during the week.
His last months in a sick bed must have been a severe trial. Fortunately he had most of the time his younger brother Leo from Ranchi with him. Many others of the Vinayalaya community helped him in his hour of need. He mellowed during those last 100 days. Illness bridged for him the generation gap that had opened before him.
Unshorn novices in mufti watched over him day and night. He was grateful to them. For him they were a concrete token of the motherly love of the Society he had joined in far-away Ireland when the century (though no longer he) was in its teens.
After a Eucharistic concelebration at St Peter’s, Bandra, he was buried on June 13, in the porch of the church and beside the school that had been his first centre of apostolate in India.
Fr Don Donnelly’s curriculum vitae shows the man's adaptability to varying circumstances: 1898 - born in Dublin; 1919 - Jesuit novitiate in Tullabeg; 1925 - philosophy in Valkenburg; 1927 - theology in Innsbruck; 1929 - ordained in Dublin; 1930 - Subsecr, of Missions, Rome; 1931 - tertianship; 1932 - arrival in China, teaching in Shiuhing; 1933 - studying Chinese language; 1934 - Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching in Regional Seminary; 1935 - Prefect of Studies, Wah Yan; 1936 - final vows; 1940 - director of Minor Seminary, Hong Kong; 1944 - arrival in Bandra (India) with Chinese boys, teaching; 1947 · back to Canton (China), teaching; 1949 - back in India, studying Hindi in Ranchi; 1950 - Rector of St Stanislaus High School, Bandra; 1956 - Minister, St Xavier's College; 1957 - Principal and Minister, St Mary's High School; 1963 · de Nobili College, Minister and Treasurer; 1965 - Minister and Treasurer, St Xavier's College; 1972 - Principal and Superior, Campion School, Bhopal; 1974 - chaplain to Christian Brothers, Bassein road; 1975 - death at Vinayalaya, 12th June; burial in Bandra, 13th.

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

More about Fr Don Donnelly († 12th June 1975)

When the last number of the Province News had gone to press, the editor discovered fifteen pages of notepaper which Fr Fergus Cronin, Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, had filled with this account of Fr Don:
For one who was so well known in the countries in which he worked, Fr Daniel Donnelly, who died last June in Bombay, was relatively little known in Ireland. This was largely due to the fact that apart from his noviceship and his period in the Colleges, all his life in the Society was spent abroad,
He came from a Dublin family. His father was a doctor practising in Parnell square, and he went to school at Belvedere.
He entered the Society in 1919, having already obtained a Master of Science degree. My recollection may be at fault, but I think I remember him telling me that he had got a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and that he attended lectures there, in order to fulfil the conditions of the cash grant, and also studied for a degree at University College, Dublin.
Having finished his novitiate, he studied philosophy in Valkenburg, came back for his Colleges to Clongowes and then did his theology in Innsbruck.
After tertianship he spent a year in the Curia in Rome as assistant to the Secretary of the Missions, and from there he went to work in the Missions - in Hong Kong.
He studied Chinese (Cantonese) in the Portuguese Mission at Shiuhing and then came to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which had just been given to the Society by its founders. Again my memory may be at fault, but I believe I heard that while the negotiations regarding our taking over the College were in progress, Fr Donnelly dropped several Miraculous Medals into the grounds!
After a few years he was made Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College and was in this position until just before the beginning of World War II. He was extremely well known in Hong Kong because of his position in the world of education. He had very positive ideas on most subjects, and in education he believed in being very firm, but he was also very approachable. A recently published book by Fr P O'Connor of the Columban Fathers, under the title Buddhists find Christ, gives a number of accounts, written by the persons themselves, of their conversion to Christianity. One of these was Dr Lert Srichandra, a Thai doctor educated in Wah Yan College and later in UCD. The book recounts many very amusing conversations, often held late at night in Wah Yan, between Dr Lert and Fr Donnelly. In his account, Dr Lert gives a great deal of credit for his finding the answers to his problems to the very direct, frank and friendly handling by Fr Donnelly of a young student's fumbling approaches to the mysteries of our faith. Dr Lert has many pages of such interchange, all very revealing of the mentality of both of these men.
Just before World War II struck Hong Kong, Fr Donnelly had collected a group of teenagers, who had shown some signs of a possible vocation to the priesthood or to the Society. These were known to all of Ours in Hong Kong by Don's name for them, “the little lads”. They were in his care in the Language School in Tai Lam Chung, and when the war came, Don succeeded, first in getting these lads out of Hong Kong to the port of Kwang Chow Wan, and then to the part of South China not occupied by the Japanese. Finally he got them flown over “The Hump” from Kunming in Yunnan province to Calcutta in India. From Calcutta he brought them by train across India to Bombay and finally was able to house them in St Stanislaus College in Bandra, just outside Bombay. Many years later, Don was to be Rector of this college.
After World War II, Don brought the group of young men back safely to Hong Kong. Of them Fr Joseph Tai is the only one in the Society, but many of the others grew into pillars of the Church and of the community in other walks of life.
Returning after this tremendous odyssey to Hong Kong, Don was able to arrange the future of these young men, and then was himself assigned to Canton. There he was a teacher in the Sacred Heart School, but was also concerned with the planning of a Jesuit secondary school which was to be built there. Fr Thomas Ryan was the Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, and his idea of a Jesuit college was one which would in every way make its own impression on all, not only for its standards of excellence in teaching, but also as being a building such as to do us credit. Don was always a man whose idealism was to be realised in a very practical form, and at one time he brought a brick down from Canton to show Fr Ryan what a suitable material it could be from which to build the proposed college. Fr Ryan’s reaction, it is believed, was to throw it back to him in disgust!
Don was in Canton until the communists came to take over South China. He was fairly sure that they would also take over Hong Kong, and in any case, since for the foreseeable future we had no work in Canton, he in his practical way wanted to go elsewhere. To Fr Ryan, leaving China at such a time was not to be thought of - it betrayed a lack of faith in the future of our work in China, a thing he refused even to think of. To Don, it was just being practical to find some other field in which to labour. Fr Ryan rather hurt Don by the manner in which he viewed Don’s desire to go to India, where he was assured he would be very welcome and much needed. But Don was never a man to be discouraged or even much affected by what others thought of him or his actions, so, about 1950, off he went to start a new life in India.
In India he later became Rector (as mentioned above) and Principal of St Stanislaus, Bandra. He was also Principal in several other Jesuit colleges, ending his teaching career as Superior and Principal of Campion High School in Bombay.
During these long years he developed many new interests. Most of those who knew him remember him, apart from his great ability in the scholastic field, as the man who produced the standard book on hockey (for which, I have been told, he was decorated by the Indian government). He is remembered also as an incessant writer of verse. Every school annual of the colleges where he was Principal (or Superior, or both) contains many poems, some as short as sonnets, some quite long narrative poems on current or on spiritual themes.
When finally he retired as a teacher he went to St Augustine’s High School, Bassein, a school run by the Christian Brothers (to quote his own words from one of his last letters) ‘where I act as chaplain, teach a little, and make myself generally useful’.
He enjoyed really good health until April 1975, when he suffered a severe stroke which left him paralysed on the left side. He was moved to the Jesuit novitiate of Vinayalaya, Andheri, Bombay, where he was cared for until a second stroke caused his death.
His death leaves the Society the poorer by the loss of one of its most loyal sons. In his later years, by all accounts, he had become rather critical of many of the changes taking place in the Society, particularly in the life-style of its members, but this was largely due to the high standards he had set himself, and which he believed he should see everywhere.
His love of the Society is seen in all of his writings. He was a man who studied the theory of anything in which he was concerned. This is seen in his writing his book on hockey. He saw everything as the carrying into reality of the theory which he had formulated about that particular subject. This too is seen in his writings about Society subjects, eg, his pamphlet on the Spiritual Exercises and his short Life of Blessed Charles Spinola. This latter was an adaptation of an Italian life which had attracted his attention. This tendency to take over the work of others is seen when later he produced a catechism in Chinese and English which was largely based on My Catholic faith by Bishop Morrow. Don was always practical, and if someone else had written something that he thought well expressed what he wanted to say, he felt free to use this material in a way that some of his fellow Jesuits felt was a little too close to the original without sufficient acknowledgement.
He was a man of tremendous energy, who faced without any self-consciousness any situation which arose. He was a man of great and strong convictions. Above all, he was a really observant religious whose love for the Society came through in everything he did or wrote. He had thousands of friends and admirers, and I think it is true that of this great number of men of all kinds who admired him for one or other of his many gifts, all saw him first and foremost as a man of God

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Letter from Father Donal Donnelly SJ

By all accounts the Missions in China, so far from being set back, are actually progressing during war-time, most of the missionaries having turned their hand to hospital and relief work thereby increasing the prestige of the Church and bringing more souls to Christ. All of the Irish Jesuit Mission in China are safe and sound.

Fr Don Donnelly, has travelled by rail, road; water and air, accompanied by a little troop of seminarians, from end to end of Asia. After the capture of Hong Kong, he first went to French Indo-China to reconnoitre for the mission, then to Wuchow in Kwangsi, where he taught science and philosophy in the Junior Seminary of the Maryknoll Fathers. There he was joined by a remnant of the boys whom he had been training for the priesthood in Hong Kong, and another older boy who wished to become a Jesuit. As the invading Japanese armies approached, the Seminary was transferred to Paaksha in the same province. In a letter dated last September, Fr Donnelly describes the rest of his odyssey :

“An urgent warning came from the American Consul to us in Paaksha in June, urging us to clear out without delay. The Maryknoll Fathers promptly closed down the Seminary, and Fr Grogan and I, with our ten little protégés, set off for Kweiyang, the capital of Kweichow province. We had a very mnixed trip. The first bit, by sampan floating down the West River to Kweiping, was very pleasant; it took about nine hours. Then we had a day or two waiting in Kweiping, before we were picked up by an American Army barge, towed by a launch. (The lad in charge was an Irishman, from Fr Grogan's part of the country.) This dragged us past the most glorious scenery, and through the most wonderful rapids, I have ever seen, to a place called Taai Waan, south of Lauchau. There should have been a train to Lauchau, but there was none; so we contacted the big shot at Taai Waan, a Catholic, and he squeezed us on to a boat leaving that evening for Lauchau. We got there after a very leisured trip. and hung about Lauchau for a couple of days, waiting for a train. Finally we got one, and then started the most appaling train journey ever made. The train was packed to the doors, corridors and steps; we had no seats, most of us; the journey was about 250 miles, and was supposed to take 23 hours; it actually took almost four days. The nights were terrible - nodding about all over the place, without room to rest or move; However, we reached the railhead at Tushan at last, and then our troubles were over. We had a great welcome from the Chinese Father at the Catholic Mission, and in a few days, the British military authorities (who have been extraordinarily kind to us) gave us a free ride in a truck to Kweiyang, about 150 miles.

I left the boys with Fr Grogan at Kweiyang and came on myself (by American truck this time, also free) to Kunming, to see about getting the boys and ourselves out to India. That was a very pleasant trip, though a bit long, about 400 miles. I saw for the first time the real old Chinese walled cities; and the scenery was marvellous. I arrived here three months ago; since then I have brought Fr Grogan and the boys along here. We hope to leave now any day for India (by RAF plane, I hope, as I say, the British authorities, and indeed, the Americans also, have been most kind and helpful) but there are still documents to be obtained and arrangements to be made”.

And in a letter dated April 19th, he writes, this time from St Stanislaus High School, Bandra, Bombay :

“I am out here in India now with these grand Spanish Fathers for the past four months, and the years in China seem like a bad dream. Still, I must say that I am very grateful to Almighty God, not only for His marvellous Providence over us all during these past three years, but also for the trifle of war experience which He sent my way. I cannot truthfully say that I should like to go through the war and its aftermath again; but just for once it was a most salutary and sanctifying experience. I certainly shall never listen again without a slightly contemptuous smile to the saying that ‘war is heil’. War is certainly very terrible, but it is equally certainly not hell; on the contrary, many men get nearer to heaven in wartime than in times of peace.

The Chinese boys and I are quite settled down here now and thoroughly happy. There are eleven of them; ten are junior seminarians who hope to join the Society of Jesus, while the last boy is a university student. He is an old Wah Yan boy named Philip Chau Pak Harig; he has wanted for years to join the Society. I brought him along with me on the understanding that I should teach him Latin, and that he would teach my boys Chinese. He (as indeed, all the boys without exception) has made an excellent impression on all here. So,I am trying at present to get him into the Bombay university, so that he can finish his degree (medicine). The rest of the boys are not so far advanced; they will be taking their Matric. in 1947 and 1948, and will then, I hope, go to the novitiate, Vinayalaya, a delightful spot about half-an-hour from here by surburban train and bus. It is really most creditable for these lads, because, despite the handicap of learning through a foreign language (English) and of broken, unsatisfactory studies for the past three years since the war, they are actually a year ahead of time; had they been in Hong Kong, they would not be due for Matric. before 1948 or 1949.

These Indian boys are very different from the Chinese. The Chinese is quiet, shy, reserved, very industrious, patient, gentle, and altogether charming; your Indian boy is lively, very friendly, distinctly less industrious, cheery, clever and not less charming, I shall certainly leave a bit of my heart here in Bandra when the time comes to return to. China. The Indian boys here are far more fickle than the Chinese, but they are solidly Catholic, and to them the priest is the priest, as he is to any Irish boy. In China it is not so; the priest is just another schoolmaster, usually somewhat ‘more decent’ and kindly and painstaking than the lay teacher, but as far as priestly dignity is concerned, you might just as well be Mr Ezechiah X of the China Inland Mission.

I am teaching here myself, and helping out in the church, the finest parish church I have ever seen, and as busy a place as Gardiner St nearly 250,000 Communions a year. I have given several Retreats since I came, to Matric, boys, to our Scholastics at the Theologate in Poona, to teachers, etc. I start another retreat this evening to nuns. The last little job I had was, of all weird. things, to write a new libretto for an operetta ! You would be amazed at the amount of verse I have perpetrated since coming here. It started with the demand for translation of Spanish Christmas carols into English, then came requests for Papal anthems, Mission anthems, Rector's Day songs, and so on, and now this is the last straw!

Well, best wishes to all old friends in Belvedere”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was reading the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” beside the passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother, Desmond, behind. Both boys went to Clongowes for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. He genuinely loved the language, and, when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking
praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn, who died working for the Legion in Africa.

Come the Second World War, Maurice volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded towards Maurice: “He's had it!” (but in much more colourful language). After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a government school at Munali, which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr M Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, “I have never met a more loyal man”. Fr. Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

While at Chikuni he would travel south to Choma at the weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

Fr. Maurice had great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal, as Fr. Prokoph had remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater, and to his many friends, as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army, and on the mission.

Doyle, Charles, 1870-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/129
  • Person
  • 26 October 1870-15 June 1949

Born: 26 October 1870, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 15 June 1949, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Brother of Fr Willie Doyle - RIP 1917

by 1893 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1896 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Took First Vows at Milltown Park February 1892

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organizing accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 4 1949

Obituary

Fr. Charles Doyle (1870-1889-1949)

He was born on 26th October, 1870 at ‘Melrose’ Dalkey, Co. Dublin, the son of Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, by the Fathers of Charity, where he spent six years, he entered Tullabeg on 14th September, 1889. After two years' Juniorate at Milltown, he did philosophy at Exaten and Valkenburg, Holland for two years and for one year at Enghien in Belgium, and then was master for six years at Belvedere College. He studied theology at Milltown where he was ordained on 30th July, 1905. His third Probation he made at Tronchiennes. He was professed of the four solemn Vows at Belvedere on 2nd February, 1908. A brief record entered up by him in the Catalogus Primus of the year 1930 contains the following summary of the offices he held prior to his appointment as Procurator of the Province in 1925 : "Proc. dom. an. 9: Min. an. 5 ; Soc. mag. nov. an. 3 ; Rect. an. 10.'' He was Rector of the Crescent from 1912 to 1918, then for a short year Rector at Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by Fr. John Sullivan, and Rector of Belvedere College from 1919 to 1922.
During the last year of his life Fr. Doyle was subject to many infirmities and had to go to hospital frequently, but despite this he carried on manfully at his appointed tasks and observed common life with edifying fidelity: He died at St. Vincent's Hospital on 15th June, 1949.

An Appreciation :
From the above rather bald and barren collection of dates and places certain events stand out with arresting interest in the life of Fr. Charles Doyle : that he held most of the offices of trust in the Society, that in addition to having been Minister, and Socius to the Master of Novices, he was three times Rector and for nearly 25 years held the onerous post of Procurator of the Province, that he died in his 79th year within a few months of his Diamond Jubilee, a man who can deservedly be reckoned among the “bene meriti" of his generation in the Society.
It would be impossible in a short appreciation such as this to do justice to the many aspects of such a long and varied career. All we can hope to do is to give a few impressions that may serve to describe in outline :
(1) The brother of Fr. Willie.
(2) The Procurator of the Province.
(3) The Man of God

The Brother of Fr. Willie :
The reason, perhaps, why Fr. Charles Doyle's name will be best remembered by posterity is because he was the brother of a saint, or at least of a candidate for canonization. One might add that it is the only pretext he himself would have advanced as a claim for immortality: His veneration for his brother was a veritable hero-worship, the advancement of his cause a holy obsession from which his mind never deflected. There were only three pictures in his room, all of Fr. Willie, as the youth, the young priest, the missioner and chaplain.
Some may see therein an excessive family glorification, but who that has ever read "Merry in God” could not feel "proud' of having had such a brother. Fr. Doyle moreover had additional reasons for sustaining his devotion, for be alone could measure, by a mail-bag that brought letters from every corner of the globe, the universal veneration in which his saintly brother was held, and as a consequence there was none more confidant than he that God willing, the day would eventually come when Fr. Willie would be elevated to the altars of the Church.
Procurator of the Province :
Only one who has held the office of Procurator for a considerable time can appreciate the monotony of the task, the unavoidably material outlook it engenders in the mind, and the intimate contact into which it brings one with the Mammon of Iniquity. It requires much agility of mind and sublimation of the mental processes to convert every figure entered in a ledger and every letter tapped out on a typewriter into an act of the pure love of God. Fr. Doyle, however, appears to have acquired this gift and perhaps also to have discovered therein a clue to the secret of the countless aspirations made by his saintly brother. For twenty-five years he held the office of Procurator of the Province and may without exaggeration be described as the Procurator “par excellence”. Under his skilful guidance the book-keeping of the Province and in the Province was re-organised and standardised. His own books were a model of neatness, accuracy and meticulous care.
He was approachable at all times and patient with all comers, even when they broke into the middle of a long tot or disrupted the counting of a sheaf of notes. For all his manner betrayed, they might only have disturbed him in a cross-word puzzle or a game of patience. He had a keen sense of humour too and enjoyed the good-humoured banter that from time to time was levelled against the hapless holder of his office. He enjoyed the bon mot of the facetious father who said that book-keeping in the Society should be labelled “leger de main” and every holder of the office provided with a treatise on that particular form of craftmanship. No one chuckled more wholeheartedly than he at the alleged quotation from a certain Domestic Exhortation : “In olden days a subject, starting on a journey, meekly approached his superior on his knees with a request for a paternal embrace and a blessing ; now he brazenly beards the Bursar on his hind-legs with a demand for treasury notes and a voucher!”
As a " distraction” from the work of book-keeping he turned his attention to the task of censorship. For over twenty years the words “Censor Deputatus, Carolus Doyle”, were wont to meet the eye on most of the Province and Messenger Office publications. Not that this implied that he had read through everything that bore his sanctioning name on the title page, for presumably even a Censor Deputatus can appoint a deputy in his place. Such was certainly the case with “Carolus Doyle, Censor Deputatus” of many publications in the Irish language, his knowledge of which he could frankly confess was practically nil!
But book-keeping remained his paramount care. Three times within the last twelve months of his life he was compelled to go to hospital and on each occasion he insisted on bringing all the essential paraphernalia of his office with him. Perhaps, it may be urged, he acted unwisely in so doing and should have accepted the services of an “adjutant”, but error, if error there was, was one of judgement, that only served to emphasize his outstanding devotion to duty and his desire to carry out his “job in life” even to the end.
The Man of God :
But the dull routine of book-keeping did not damp his ardour for spiritual things or lessen his desire to take a share in the work of the Ministry. As a young priest and even well past middle age he was recognised as one of the outstanding preachers of the Province, distinct in delivery, sound of doctrine and above all with a telling way of driving home the truth, however unpalatable to his hearers. His Lenten lectures on “The Home” were said to have reached a financial peak, even for that famous annual feature in Gardiner St., though he himself would have been far from using such a measuring rod as a test of their success.
Every year, until his failing health compelled him to reduce the numbers, he gave from four to five retreats and only twelve months ago, in his seventy-eighth year, with sentence of death hanging over him, he conducted a priests retreat, which many a younger man would have hesitated to undertake. The “tableaux vivants”, which were a marked feature of his retreats did not win universal appreciation, but none could question the zeal and sincerity which inspired them.
Except for the purpose of giving retreats and making the annual audit of the accounts of the Province (”Praecursor Visitationis” was one of his soubriquets) he never wandered much abroad and agreed with Thomas A. Kempis “that they who do so seldom thereby become holy”. Indeed, his room was his castle and his only regular wanderings therefrom were for the purpose of making a lodgement in the bank or having a friendly interview with the Income Tax Commissioners.
For the rest, he was the “beau ideal” of Common Life. An early riser with an early Mass every morning, a man who never missed recreation or Litanies (and how grateful some tired father was when he recited them in his stead on a confession day), a man who always answered the first sound of the bell, leaving not only the letter but the figure unfinished, a man who sang his simple song on Christmas night but who also, despite every pretext, always went to bed in good time.
He was not without his idiosyncrasies, however (as what holy man is not?) and it was said of him, as of others who regulate their lives with clock-like precision, that he looked askance at those who, he suspectedwere ready to throw a spanner in the works of what they regarded as excessive routine rigidity. There were occasions too, when he could be exacting to a degree, as his companions knew to their cost. He was notoriously allergic to noise. His hearing was so acute that ever the winding of a watch or the striking of a match was said to reach his ears from overhead and woe betide the man who dropped his boots above him! No time was lost in admonishing the boot dropper, yet it was done in such a disarming fashion that no feud ensued - but the boots ceased dropping!
But, if he could be exacting at times, he was ever ready to make allowance for the foibles of others and never completely lost the human touch himself. His partiality for sweet things, even in old age, was such as would have given serious cause for alarm in the case of a school boy, and even a youngster might have envied the gusto with which he pursued the daily adventures of “Gussie Goose and Curley Wee”. “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”, might have been his motto, but “Merry in God” would be more appropriate and could be applied to him with the same aptitude as it was to his saintly brother. For beneath all his merriment lay an abiding sense of the Presence of God.
In that presence he closed his accounts with a smile on his face. If ever he had an overdraft in the Bank of Heaven, it has long ago been converted to a comfortable credit balance, and if his spiritual petty cash did not always balance, 'twas only a matter of pence which the great Auditor assuredly has long since overlooked. May his saintly life and simple merriment long continue to be an inspiration to all those. who are destined for the unenviable task of having care of the purse.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Doyle 1870-1949
Fr Charles Doyle was born in Dublin on October 24th 1870. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1889. He made his Philosophical studies at Valkenburg, his Theology at Milltown Park, and his tertianship at Drongen in Belgium.

His life in the Society was spent in offices of administration, being Minister for five years, Rector for ten, and Procurator of the Province for the last twenty-five years of his life.

He was the elder brother of Fr Willie Doyle, whose life he wrote “Merry in God”, and for whose beatification her worked hard for many years.

He was an exemplary religious, an excellent member in community, and he was noted especially for his unfailing cheerfulness. In his personal life he practiced a constant severity or even austerity. Outside the Society he was well known for his Lenten Lectures delivered in Gardiner Street. As a Retreat giver he was much sought after.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Charles Doyle SJ

Father Charles Doyle died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 15th June, 1949, after a long illness patiently endured. He was born at “Melrose”, Dalkey, in 1870, and was the son of the late Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. His early education was with the Fathers of Charity, Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, where he spent six years. He had very kindly recollections of his school-days and he kept in touch with the Ratcliffe Father's up to his death last year. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1889, and passed through the various stages that the Order requires of its members - two years' novitiate in Tullabeg, two years' juniorate at Milltown Park, three years, philosophy at Valkenberg, Holland, and Enghien, Belgium, six years, teaching at Belvedere College, four years, theology at Miiltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905. He completed his religious training by doing his “Tertianship” or third year at Trouchiennes, Belgium.

He held responsible and important positions in the Order during his life as a priest. Immediately after his Tertiarship he was appointed Assistant Master of Novices at Tullabeg. He was Rector of Crescent College, Limerick, from 1912 to 1918, of Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by the late Father John Sullivan. He returned to Belvedere College as Rector for the next three years. From 1925 until his death twenty-four years later he was the Provincial Bursar, having charge of the accounts of the Irish Province.

Fr Charles Doyle was a brother of the late Father Willie Doyle, the well-known and saintly chaplain, who was killed in 1917 during the first world war, while administering to the soldiers on the battlefield. His admiration for his chaplain brother amounted almost to hero-worship. He laboured assiduously in collecting evidence of his brother's sanctity and he kept a list of all the favours obtained through his intercession. He was responsible for the publication of a life of Fr Willie called “Merry in God”, which was read all the world over. There were only three pictures in Father Doyle's bedroom, and they were all of Fr Willie at various stages of his career - as a young boy, as a young priest and as a chaplain.

As has already been stated, he was the Provincial Bursar for twenty-five years. But as well, at other stages of his career he was put in charge of the accounts and finances of a few of the Houses of the Irish Province. He had a great aptitude for this kind of work. Under his direction and advice the account books and all the book-keeping of the Irish Province was improved and reorganised. His own account books were perfect models of nreatness, accuracy and the greatest care. His interest in his work was very great, for instance, he had to go to hospital three times during the last year of his life. On all three occasions he insisted on bringing his account books with him. He certainly remained in harness and at his post up to the very end of his life.

He was above all a fervent religious and a man of the highest spirituality. He was a great model to all by his piety, his self-denial, his observance of rule and his observance of common life. He rose at 5.30 every day, said an early Mass and attended all the Community duties day after day with the greatest regularity. He avoided all exemptions even when his health was in a very precarious state. With all this he had a keen sense of humour, and enjoyed the good-humoured banter which is so often found in Community life. He was approachable at all times and most ready to oblige. Every year until his health gave away he spent his summer vacations in giving several retreats to priests and nuns. The retreats were greatly appreciated and are still well remembered by those who made them. About a year before his death he conducted a Priests Retreat in spite of his 78 years of age. He was also an eloquent preacher. His voice was pleasing and distinct, and as might be expected from such a man, his sermons were always most carefully prepared. On one occasion he gave a series of Lenten Lectures in Gardiner Street on the “Home”, and they drew great crowds from all parts of the city and country. These Lectures of his are regarded as among the best that were preached in Gardiner Street. And that says a great deal because the Lenten Lectures were given by some of the most distinguished preachers of Ireland and England,

He was an excellent teacher, but very strict. Some past Belvederians have still vivid recollections of his strictriess as a master. But his strict methods were tempered by kindness and justice, so that the boys had a great respect and veneration for him. As Rector of Belvedere he did much for the College. The number of students increased during his term of office, and as might be expected from his genius in the administration of temporal affairs the finances of the College greatly improved. The games also flourished under his jurisdiction. During the period he was Rector the Belvedere Team made some bold bids to win the Senior Cup, and they succeeded in winning the Junior Football Cup. Foundations were being laid for the excellent teams that Belvedere has put into the field ever since.

Father Doyle is survived by his brother Mr Robert Doyle, KC, former Recorder of Galway, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Charles Doyle (1870-1949)

Born at Dalkey and educated in England, entered the Society in 1889. He pursued his higher studies in Valkenburg, Enghien and Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained in 1905. During his life, Father Doyle occupied many positions of trust. He came as master to the Crescent in 1911 and was appointed Rector of the College the following year. Father Doyle's rectorship at the Crescent was passed in difficult times: the college was badly in debt and, owing to the short supply of Jesuit masters, the task of main taining the school was onerous in the extreme. During his six years here, he was a strenuous worker in the classroom and the church. On leaving the Crescent, he was successively Rector of Rathfarnham Castle and Belvedere College. The last twenty-five years of his life were spent in the exacting work of bursar of the Irish Jesuit Province. During his last years, he published (anonymously) a biography of his celebrated brother, Father Willie Doyle.

Dwyer, Peter, 1879-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/133
  • Person
  • 22 July 1879-21 July 1945

Born: 22 July 1879, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 21 July 1945, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1904
by 1927 at Prescot, Lancashire (ANG) working

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, Ireland, before he Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg 1898

1900-1903 After First Vows he was sent to Chieri Italy and Kasteel Gemert Netherlands for Philosophy
1903-1904 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College for Regency, teaching Latin and English
1904-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview to continue his Regency.
1908-1910 He finished a long Regency at St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1910-1914 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1914-1915 He made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1916-1917 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney teaching
1917-1919 He was sent to work at the Hawthorn Parish
1919-1922 He was sent to work at the Richmond Parish
1923-1928 He returned to Ireland and was appointed assistant Director of the Retreat House for working men which had just opened.
1928--1932 he was sent teaching to Mungret College Limerick
1932 he was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to minister in the People’s Church. He was virtually an invalid for the rest of his life.

He was well known as an amateur radio expert. He was a kindly, amiable man, but inclined to be hypersensitive which created some problems for himself and others. He found it therefore hard to settle in one place for very long. He was also a man of deep and simple piety.

He had been sick for about 10 years and his last six months were very painful. he demonstrated a great deal of patience during this illness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 4 1945
Obituary :
Fr. Peter Dwyer (1879-1898-1945)
Fr. Dwyer died on the evening of Saturday, July 21st, on the eve of his 66th birthday. To any one who had kept in touch with him his death could not have been unexpected. In the early part of this year the doctor who attended him said that he had not much more than six months to live. About ten years ago he had undergone a very critical operation and had been suffering more or less constantly since. Within the last few years he had had to go into hospital several times.
In May his sufferings became more intense and more constant. He bore them with patience and resignation and gave much edification to all who had to do with him. He dreaded a long drawn out agony and had prayers said that God would take him soon. The prayers were answered. In the early part of July he began to grow visibly weaker, and those who saw him at intervals of a few days noticed the change.
On Saturday, July 21st, he was evidently near death, and the doctor said he would not live through the night. At eight o'clock the Rector of Rathfarnham Castle anointed him and gave him Viaticum and said the prayers for the dying, and a few minutes later he died without any struggle, having been conscious almost to the last. His body was brought to St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, on Monday evening, and on the next morning Office and solemn Requiem Mass were celebrated for him. The Rector of Rathfarnham Castle was Celebrant of the Mass, and Fr. Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. As the Theologians were on retreat, we could not call on them to do the chanting, but a composite choir, under the direction of Fr. Kevin Smyth, sang very impressively.
Fr. Dwyer was born at Carrickmacross on July 22nd, 1879, and after receiving his secondary education at St. Macartan's College, Monaghan, he entered the Society on September 7th, 1898. He studied philosophy at Chieri and at Gemert, and was then sent to Australia where he taught in our colleges at Sydney and Melbourne. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1913, and in 1917 returned to Australia, where he did parish work at Richmond and Hawthorn. In 1922, he returned to Ireland and was appointed assistant director of the Retreat House for workingmen which had just been opened. In 1928 he went to Mungret and in 1932 was sent to Tullabeg as operarius in the People's Church. About four years later he under went the operation already referred to, and remained more or less an invalid henceforth,
Fr. Dwyer was a very amiable character who made friends wherever he went. He was a man of deep and simple piety. The last years of his life were filled with suffering, which he bore with resignation and hope and fortitude. May he rest in peace.

Egan, Thomas, 1889-1915, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/761
  • Person
  • 06 May 1889-28 November 1915

Born: 06 May 1889, Glountanefinane, Ballydesmond, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 28 November 1915, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes. He was a great student and won exhibitions in all grades of the Intermediate, and showed promise that he might be a first class Mathematician.

After First Vows he was sent aside for Mathematical and Scientific studies. He was one of the Juniors chosen to attend lectures at the newly founded UCD. He graduated BSc 1912.
He studied at Tullabeg (1909-1910) and Milltown (1910-1912).
1912-1914 He studied Philosophy at Valkenberg, excelling at Philosophy and German.
1914-1915 He finished his Philosophy at Stonyhurst.
Towards the end of 1915 his health, which was never robust, began to fail and he underwent several operations for intestinal tuberculosis. When the Great War broke out in 1914, he had barely the strength to journey to Stonyhurst to continue his Philosophy. Gradually he grew weaker, and in the following summer he returned to start work in the Colleges. He bore his illness with resignation, and a quiet edifying life was ended by a peaceful and holy death. He died in Dublin 28 November 1915.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Thomas Egan SJ

Early in last November Rev Thomas Egan SJ, died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, after a protracted illness. He was in Clongowes from 1903 to 1907, after which he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg. From 1910-12 he studied with success for his degree at the NUI, after obtaining which with honours he was sent by his superiors to Valkenburg in Holland, the Philosophate of the German Jesuits, to study philosophy and learn German. Towards the end of his second year there he fell ill, and had to be removed to hospital at Aix la Chapelle, where he underwent several very serious operations. Though he got over them successfully for the time, he never recoveered his old health again, and when after a stay in Stonyhurst he returned to Ireland, it so became evident that the fatal disease was returning. He lingered on, however, several months in hospital, enduring sufferings with great resignation, and ready for death's call. His death, like his life and character, was a peaceful one. After receiving the last sacraments he became unconscious, and thus calmly passed away.

Fahy, John, 1874-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/143
  • Person
  • 05 February 1874-25 January 1958

Born: 05 February 1874, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 10 August 1909, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 25 January 1958, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 22 February 1922-1931.
John Keane was Vice Provincial for [six] months while Fr Fahy was in Rome from Sep. 1923 – [Feb.] 1924.
Vice Provincial - Australian Vice-Province 05 April 1931

by 1904 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1906 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1913 at Linz Austria (ASL) making Tertianship
Provincial 25 February 1922
Vice-Provincial Australia 05 April 1931

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Thomas Maher Jr Entry
He died at the residence of his sister in Thurles 12 February 1924. During his illness the local clergy were most attentive, visiting him daily as his end drew near. He was also frequently visited by the Provincial John Fahy.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Early education was at Coláiste Iognáid Galway before Entering at S Stanislaus College Tullabeg 1891.

He studied in Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium and was Ordained 1909.
1912-1913 He made Tertianship at Linz Austria
1914-1919 He was at Belvedere College, Dublin as Prefect of Studies [then Rector]
1919-1920 He was appointed Rector of Mungret College Limerick
1922-1931 He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
1931-1947 He was appointed first Vice-Provincial of Australia, after which he became Master of Novices and then Tertian Instructor (1941-1947)
1947-1958 He was sent to St Ignatius College Norwood as a curate, and he died there.

He was held in such high esteem that he attended four General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, the last of which was in 1957, and this was a record in the Society.

He was one of the most remarkable men to have worked in Australia. During his Provincialate in the Irish Province he built the Rathfarnham Castle Retreat House and Juniorate, and the Irish Mission to Hong Kong was established. In Australia he built Loyola College Watsonia during the depression years, and later Canisius College Pymble.

He was a typical administrator with strength to complete his vision. He did not find decision making difficult. He was also a shy, reserved man, with whom it could be difficult to make light conversation. Some found him forbidding and lacking personal warmth. But, he was a solidly spiritual man and very understanding of one’s problems once rthe ice was broken. He probably found it hard to simply be an ordinary Jesuit in community once he left high office, but he did try to be genial and affable. It was probab;y also difficult for ordinary Jesuits to relate to him in any other way than that of his being a Superior.

Note from Jeremiah Sullivan Entry
The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Australia :
Fr J. Fahy, late Irish Provincial, and first Provincial of the new Vice-province of Australia, tells us about impressions made on him by the people of his new home
“I have been in this country about a month, and ever since my arrival I have been really amazed at several things. One of them is the amazing progress and power of the Catholic Church in Australia. We had heard in the Old Land, and had frequently read about your doings, about your love for the Faith, your devotion to your pastors,but really the sight of what you are doing far surpasses anything that we read in our newspapers.
Another thing that surprises me is the readiness of many to help the next man, that I am told, is a characteristic of the Australian people.
Not many days ago I was leaving Sydney and I had a letter to post. It was raining fairly heavily, and as I was going to the station by car. I thought I would stop and risk getting wet while rushing into the Post Office. I had just pulled up at the herb when a man rushed out from a near by doorway, and, though he did hot know who I was, and no doubt did not care, said “ Don't come out into the rain, I will post your letter for you.” That, I think, is typical of the prompt readiness with which the average Australian desires to help his fellows.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Australia :
Fr. John Fahy, Provincial of Ireland 1922-23), was appointed Tertian Instructor of the Vice-Province of Australia, this year, and began work on February 15th. The Long Retreat, made by fourteen Fathers, commenced soon afterwards.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

GENERAL CONGREGATION :

Letters :

Fr. John Fahy, to Fr. Vice-Provincial, 10-9-46 :
“Your three Electors are flourishing, notwithstanding a fierce sirocco which has been burning the Romans ever since our arrival. All the Electors have now arrived, with the exception of four : Lithuania, Romania, Croatia and one German. To-morrow we begin our quattriduum, all - I think - feeling confident of Divine Help and Guidance. Rome is filled with men and women, all come for General Chapters, so we live in an election atmosphere”.

Province News 33rd Year No 2 1958

Obituary :

Fr John Fahy (1874-1958)

Fr. Fahy was born and brought up in Galway. He got his early education at St. Ignatius' College and entered the Society in, 1891.
In 1893 he went to the Juniorate at Milltown Park. In the following year, when I went there, I began to appreciate more and more his unselfish kindness and readiness to help, and his clearness and accuracy of mind. In some ways he was exceedingly simple. For instance, in the autumn of 1895, Fr. Sutton, who had just taken over the command of Milltown Park, summoned a meeting of Theologians and Juniors, proclaimed a severe code of laws, and invited questions. The theologians proceeded to ask a number of very ingenious questions, each tending to confuse the issues more and more, and to make our obligations less and less clear. The one person (apart from Fr. Sutton) to whom it would not appear that this result was intentional was John Fahy. He stood up and said : “Father, in order to be perfectly clear, is it this, or this, or that?” And, of course, it was that; all the clouds were swept away, and John was quite unconscious of the furious glances directed at him!
Towards the end of 1895, the Juniors were transferred to Tullabeg, and Mr. Fahy went with them to teach Mathematics and Physics. He remained with them until 1898, when he was sent to teach the same subjects at Clongowes. In 1901 he returned to Tullabeg as “Min. Schol. Jun”, and Prefect of Studies of the Juniorate.
In 1903 he went to Valkenburg in Holland, then the house of Philosophy of the German Province; Bismarck's ban on the Society was still in force in Germany. In 1905 he went to Louvain for Theology, was ordained in 1908, finished his course the following year, and went to Linz for his Tertianship in 1909-10. He left everywhere a high reputation both for character and scholarship. On his return to Ireland in 1910, the Provincial, Fr. William Delany, wanted to make him Master of Novices. This caused him much alarm, and he persuaded Fr. Delany to look elsewhere. He was sent to Belvedere, first as Prefect of Studies, then as Minister and in 1913 as Rector. His time in Belvedere, ending in 1919, was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the College.
One day during the rising in Easter week, 1916, some of the front windows of Belvedere were shattered by a volley from a company of soldiers in Great George's Street. Fortunately the community were at lunch, and the refectory was at the back of the house. Fr. Fahy opened the hall door, walked down to the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear any sniping. He also, during those days, drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from coming into the zone of fire.
In 1919 he was appointed Moderator of the Mungret Apostolic School, and in the following year he became Rector of the College. In 1922 Fr. General appointed Visitors to all the Provinces of the Society, and Fr. W. Power, Visitor to Ireland, appointed Fr. Fahy Provincial.
His Provincialate (1922-31) was a period of considerable advance for the Province and of much promise for the future, a promise which, God be thanked, is being realised. In the early days of his generation, foreign missions were for us little more than a fairy tale, true, no doubt, but remote from experience. Fr. Fahy, when the prospect of the Hong Kong mission appeared, succeeded in conveying his own enthusiasm to the Province. In choosing a Superior he looked for and found a man of courage and enterprise who was ready to go ahead and take risks. A few years later the question of taking on a district in China itself arose at a Provincial Congregation. China was being overrun by the Japanese at the time, and there was much confusion. of opinion. When everyone else had spoken, Fr Fahy stood up in his turn. He made no attempt to press his point, but very simply stated the case as he saw it. He got a practically unanimous vote. The same thing happened when the question arose of making the Australian mission independent of the Irish Province. Nobody, Australian or Irish, seemed to know what to think. Once more when, Fr. Fahy had spoken the vote was unanimous. I think it was on that occasion that Fr. Thomas Finlay remarked : “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.
When the Australian mission became first a Vice-Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made remarkable progress, which it has continued to make under his successors; in fact, in spite of the very satisfactory increase in the numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.
He conducted a Visitation of the Philippines which, I have heard, bore excellent fruit.
In recent years he had been acting as a curate, and it is said that the children in the streets used run to greet him; which shows that his generous and kindly heart had succeeded in conquering his reticence. The feeling of his brethren towards him was shown by their electing him, at the age of eighty-three, to represent them at the General Congregation.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Fahy SJ 1874-1958
The name of Fr John Fahy is revered not only in the Irish and Australian Provinces, but throughout the Society in general.This reputation he acquied from his participation in Genereal Congregations. It was remarkable how in any discussion, Fr Fahy would sum up the matter in dispute in a few clipped, concise words, and give a solution, which always won approval and carried the day.

He was born in Galway in 1874, and educated at St Ignatius, entering the Society in 1891. The greater part of his studies were done abroad.

When Fr William Power was made Visitor to the Province in 1922, he appointed Fr Fahy provincial. His term of office lasted until 1931, and during that time great expansion took place. We acquired our foreign Mission in Hong Kong, the retreat House at Rathfarnham was built, Emo Park was bought and a great increase in the number of novices took place. Fr Tom Finlay said of him “that was the greatest Provincial he had ever known”.

When Australia became a Vice-Province in 1931, Fr Fahy went out there as Superior. The rest of his life he devoted to Australia, as Superior, Master of Novices, Master of Tertians.

In 1937 he was appointed Visitor to the Philippines.

At the age of 83, he was chosen by his brethren in Australia to represent them at the General Congregation.

After such a life of outstanding work for God and the Society, he died on January 25th 1928. He was a man of great judgement, of vision, of courage and constancy in carrying out what he had planned.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1958

Obituary

Father John Fahy SJ

Fr John Fahy who has died in Australia was successively during the years 1910 to 1919, Prefect of Studies, Minister, and from 1913, Rector of Belvedere, His time here. in these various offices was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the house.

We are told that one day during the rising in Easter Week, 1916, some of the windows of Belvedere facing George's Street were shattered by a yolley from a company of soldiers. The Community were at lunch in the back of the house and so, fortunately, no one was hurt. Fr Fahy opened the hall door, advanced towards the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear Sniping. During those troubled times he frequently drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from entering the firing zones.

In 1922 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province. He held this office until 1931. During those years he made many important decisions, chief among which were the foundation of the Mission in Hong Kong, the decision to make the Australian Mission independent of the Isish Province. In matters such as these he was clear headed and decisive. It was as a result of such an occasion that Fr Tom Finlay declared about Fr. Fahy: “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.

When the Australian Mission became first a Vice Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made the remarkable progress, which it has continued to make over the years; in fact, in spite of the satisfactory increase in numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.

In recent years he had been acting as a Curate and it is said that the children in the streets used to run out to greet him when he appeared; which goes to show that his kindness of heart had at last conquered his characteristic reticence. At the age of eighty-three the seal was placed on his life of service to the Society of Jesus, when his brethren showed their confidence in him by electing him to represent them at the General Congregation.

Finglas, Robert, 1595-1663, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1289
  • Person
  • 02 February 1595-03 May 1663

Born: 02 February 1595, Toberton, CountyDublin
Entered: 1647, Kilkenny
Ordained: 1623
Died: 03 May 1663, St Aloysius College, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Fitzwilliam

1651-1658 Procurator for Ireland in England.
1655 Operarius in Londion

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was of a noble family and a cousin of General Preston, and was at one stage Chaplain to his wife, who was sister of the FLA Provincial at the time, and accompanied her to the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1650. Descended from Baron Patrick Finglas of Westpalston (Viscount Fitzwilliam), MP for Dublin 1650 (and appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer by Henry VIII in 1520, and later 05 May 1534 Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for Ireland, replacing Bartholomew Dillon).
1650 Sent to Netherlands
1651-1663 Sent to England as procurator for the Irish Mission under the name Robert Fitzwilliams (cf Foley’s Collectanea) Joined ANG that year at St Ignatius College London.
1658 Sent to Lancashire at St Aloysius College, where he died, aged 57. (actually aged 68!)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Received a Special Dispensation for Ent at Kilkenny due to his advanced age. He was already Ordained in 1623 before Ent 1647 Kilkenny
1650 Allowed to accompany the wife of General Preston to Belgium, August 1650. She was the sister of Fr de Namur, Provincial of the GALL-BEL Province.
1652 Transcribed to ANG after two years in Belgium. he remained in England and died at St Aloysius College, Lancashire 03 May 1663

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FINGLASS, ROBERT, was of a good family. This Rev. Priest, at the age of 51 joined the Society. He had been Chaplain to the Lady of General Preston, (sister to the F. Provincial Namur, S. J.) and accompanied her to the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1650.

FitzGibbon, John, 1882-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1295
  • Person
  • 15 July 1882-18 September 1918

Born: 15 July 1882, Castlerea, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died 18 September 1918, 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1905 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 16th Field Ambulance, BEF France

First World War chaplain.
See article by Steve Bellis, pp48-56, in Burke, Damien. Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War. Dublin: Messenger Publications, 2014.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes, and he was then an apprentice at Henry Street Warehouse.

After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and later did Theology at Milltown. He was Ordained in 1915, and in 1916 became a Chaplain to the 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France, where he was killed 18 September 1918.

The following notice appeared in the “Tablet” after his death
“Father John Fitzgibbon SJ (Irish Province), MC, was killed by a shell at an advanced dressing station in France September 18. The youngest son of Mr John Fitzgibbon MP for south Mayo, he was born thirty-six years ago. He was Ordained in 1915, and volunteered early in 1916, so that the whole of his Priestly life was devoted to ministry on the field. He was wounded in September 1917, and in March 1918 was gazetted to the Military Cross. His brother, Captain Michael Fitzgibbon fell at Gallipoli in August 1915. A brother-chaplain Father McGuinness CF, writes that Father Fitzgibbon expired almost immediately, after breathing a few prayers, and was buried by him in the military cemetery. ‘Catholics and those of other denominations alike speak of him i terms of admiration. His zeal for souls was untiring’. Writing to Father Nolan, Irish provincial SJ, the Principal Chaplain, Father Rawlinson CMG, says that the loss to the Catholic Religion and the Chaplain’s Department, is a considerable one, and that for two and a half years Father Fitzgibbon had done excellent work as a Priest in France, and was mourned by officers and men.

Some dramatic details concerning Father Fitzgibbon’s death are given in a letter from Father Keary CF, a brother Jesuit, who writes :
‘Father Fitzgibbon had blessed a grave and read the Burial Service over one of our boys about 2pm on Wednesday last, and was talking to a German Catholic prisoner of war in the cemetery, when a shell landed in our midst and the Father fell forward. One of our boys rushed to his help, but had only raised him to his knees when another shell burst in on them, fording him to drop his burden and fall on his face to avoid being killed himself. A few minutes later Father Fitzgibbon’s dead body was removed, and was buried the next day’.
He is the fourth Irish Jesuit Chaplain who has died during the war.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Fitzgibbon 1882-1918
Fr John Fitzgibbon was the fourth Irish Jesuit who lost his life as a Chaplain in the First World War.

He was born at Castlerea on July 15th 1882, the son of Mr John Fitzgibbon MP for South Mayo. He was ordained in 1915 and volunteered early in 1916, so that the whole ofhis priestly life was devoted to ministry in the field.

He was gazetted to the Military Cross in 1918. He had just blessed a grave and read the burial service over one of the troops, when a shell landed and Fr Fitzgibbon fell forward. A fellow Chaplain, Fr McGuinness reported that Fr Fitzgibbon expired almost immediately after breathing a few prayers.

He was buried in the same cemetery where he had been officiating. His death occurred on September 18th 1918.

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Obituary

Father John Fitzgibbon SJ

It was very hard to bring one's mind to think of death in connection with Father John Fitzgibbon. When the news that he had fallen in France reached us last September it seemed hardly credible. For he was essentially a man of life and action; enthusiasm and energy radiated from him, and he was in the full vigour of life only thirty-six. But it was only too true. We gladly pay this tribute to his memory, for he belonged to Clongowes doubly.

During the three years he was with us as a boy he was prominent in the games, got first in his class (I. Prep.), and won a prize in the Intermediate. But he left school young to take up business. During the four years he spent in business he showed great promise, and would certainly have achieved success in it had he not joined the Society of Jesus in 1901.

The year 1907 found him back at Clongowes, and for five years he acted as Third Line and then as Lower Line Prefect. During his period as Prefect the impress of his strong personalty was left on everything he took in hand. Were it a concert, a tournament, a Line match he succeeded in infusing into the boys something of his own efficiency and thoroughness. How eagerly the officials of the Higher Line coveted the privilege of being present at one of Mr Fitzgibbon's entertainments; how anxiously the Higher Line and Division calculated their remote chances of the Soccer Cup when his Eleven was in the field against them. He was ever devising some new departure to interest the Line and make the time go pleasantly. We still may see permanent traces of his work. The picturesque III Line pavilion was long known as Mr Fitzgibbon's kiosk, and it was he who put up those handsome presses that make the Lower Line library one of our show places. But his energies were not confined to these material improvements. He exerted all his influence, and it was great, to encourage the boys to read and laboured hard to direct them in their reading. In his time the library was always crowded.

With this enterprising and helpful energy there were united ready kindness, a cheery sympathy, and a personal interest in each one, which the former members of his Line have not forgotten.
In 1915 he was ordained, and almost immediately volunteered as Chaplain. The qualities he showed as a Prefect came out to even greater advantage in this new sphere, and he was very popular with the men. Cheerful friendliness, ceaseless activity, and zeal for the men's welfare, both spiritual and temporal, were his characteristics. No one questioned his bravery. He was awarded the MC, and when the rumour went round that he had been recommended for the VC, those who knew him were not surprised. A Chaplain who knew him at the front speaks of him as “naturally gallant and fearless”.

The following little incident will be of interest. It is related by Mr R P Gill, of Fattheen House, Nenagh, the father of many Clongownians. During one of the terrible retreats in April, 1918, his son Owen was riding along while his servant was leading a mule carrying his kit. “Just as they came to a place marked “dangerous”, the mule upset all his belongings. While gazing at them ruefully he saw coming towards him a padre riding a splendid big horse, and, he said, a better matched pair he never saw - the magnificent-looking Chaplain so well mounted. To his delight he recognised his old friend as a boy, dear, brave Father Fitzgibbon, who recognised Owen instantly. Well they had a long shanachie about Clongowes and all the lads they knew.

At the end of August and the beginning of September he had the great privilege of a visit to Lourdes, On the very day he was killed his parents received a letter full of enthusiastic descriptions of his stay there. He had inspiring experiences. He was besieged by hundreds wanting to serve his Mass, heard many confessions, and was the means of doing immense good. He speaks of the joy and delight of all he met at meeting an Irish priest. “When they heard that I was Irish”, he says, “No words were good enough to express their admiration for the Irish Catholics who made such a wonderful impression on everyone at Lourdes at the time of the pilgrimage. They will never be forgotten there. As you know, there is a magnificent Celtic cross erected there by the Irish pilgrims with a dedication to our Lady of Lourdes in Irish and in French”.

On the 18th of September, in the midst of his work at the front, a shell burst beside him.. He had time to utter some prayers, overheard by a soldier who was near, and in a few moments expired.

He was the son of Mr John Fitzgibbon, of Castlereagh, formerly MP for South Mayo, who had already lost in the war a younger son.

Fitzpatrick, Daniel, 1910-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/661
  • Person
  • 27 October 1910-07 July 2001

Born: 27 October 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1939, Leuven, Belgium
Final Vows: 15 August 1973
Died: 07 July 2001, Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He is remembered as a very cheerful man with irrepressible zeal. he was born in Belfast and his father was an engineer who died on the famous Titanic when Daniel was very young. He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him. He entered the Society at Tullabeg and enjoyed the quiet country life there.

1930-1933 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle for Juniorate at UCD, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry. During that time (1931) he had already been assigned to the new Vice Province of Australia, and he was happy about that.
1933-1936 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1936-1940 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology, being Ordained at Leuven just seven days before the start of WWII.
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin.
1943-1948 He was eventually able to get passage to Australia. He went with three other Jesuits, and that journey came the stuff of folklore due to the hazardous nature of their journey. Because of the constant threat of German U Boats, they only travelled at night and very close to the African coast. The journey took five months. He arrived in Melbourne and was sent to St Patrick’s College to teach Chemistry and Religion. He also agreed to teach Science at Xavier College Kew in the afternoons after a morning at St Patrick’s., and for two years was Prefect of Studies at St Patrick's (1944-1946). he also managed to teach Science at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Victoria Parade. he liked teaching the girls and also the fact that this was an ecumenical venture.

1949-1972 He was sent permanently to Xavier College Kew and taught six classes of Chemistry every day with no laboratory assistant. His commitment to his students was very high, and he would greet them cheerfully each day in a crisp white coat. He was highly regarded as a teacher, thorough, organised and convinced of discipline in learning. He demanded very high standards, did not like indiscipline and not much escaped him. Many recall him saying his rosary on the top verandah overlooking the chapel. While doing this he observed everything below and this formed the basis for many conversations with students. he may have been exacting, but he prepared many of his students for scientific studies at the University.

As well as a full class schedule he also had a weekend supply at Ferntree Gully, and during summer holidays he gave eight day Retreats.

1972-1986 At the age of 62 he embarked on a very different stage in his life. He had hoped to do Retreat work in Asia, ideally i Malaysia with Irish Jesuits, but this plan failed when he was unable to gain a permanent work visa. So he went to Hong Kong for work. The Catholic Port Chaplain had suddenly resigned and he was asked to fill in temporarily. This ministry lasted thirteen years when he was 75 years old.

With his natural cheerful and helpful style he won many friends among seafarers from many nations, Philipinos especially, but also Goans, Poles and Russians. He gave time to all and enjoyed their company. He loved people. He would set out daily into Hong Kong Harbour, scaling ladders to board ships, which he admitted was sometimes dangerous in rough seas. Talking to the men, making them feel at home, he would regularly promise to write to their family giving them news. This custom he continued for the rest of his life, especially at Christmas. He even made trips to the Philippines to meet the families of those men, enjoying the free service of Cathay Pacific Airlines or ships belonging to Swires. When off ship he was to be found in the Mariners’ Club where he socialised with everyone and presented the Faith in a very concrete and persuasive way, talking through people’s doubts and troubles with very convincing ease. He was apostolic and ebullient, often breaking into song and poetry. He formed good relations with the Anglican Port Chaplain and his wife, and they shared common experiences. he revelled in this life.

He was a very family oriented man, and when his mother died, he brought his step-brothers and sister to Australia, settling them into accommodation and schools and keeping an eye on them. After his return from Hong Kong, he would visit his sister on a Saturday night, and then go to the community. This was very important for both he and his family cherished.

1986 When it became difficult for him to board ships, it was time for him to make a third change in his life. He decided to return to Australia, and there he began a ministry to the sick and dying at Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew, and this he continued until the end of his life. From 1986-1989 he lived a Burke Hall, and from then on at Campion House.

He retired early each night and rose at 3am. After some prayers he went for a morning walk around Yarra Boulevard. He made this walk again in the afternoons, always with a rough walking stick. He went to the Hospice each morning and visited some before Mass and then others after Mass. he would then come back in the afternoons. He was very regular. his appearance was unique. He was small i stature and wore a big flannel check shirt with a baseball cap and sneakers, and baggy shorts in the summer. In winter the baseball cap was replaces with a Russian fur fez with earmuffs. his attitude was one of having time for all because everyone was special.

As he grew older his eyesight deteriorated, and just after his 90th birthday he fell and broke his hip in the hospice. They looked after him well at caritas and he learned to walk again, now visiting patients in his pyjamas. Eventually he accepted the move to Nazareth House, Cornell Street, Camberwell, Melbourne saying that there would be some work for him there.

He lived life to the full and had no fear of dying. He had a very strong faith and used joke that when he got to Heaven he would spend his first days running about looking for his father. He loved company but was never dependent on it. He loved sharing his theological and spiritual insights, or how the laws of Science helped him have a deeper understanding of the works of God in the universe. He would often reflect on the Goodness of God towards him, especially the gifts of nature and its wonders. He could see unity in diversity as he gazed at the night sky.

He was a great companion, one with whom it was easy to form friendship. It was claimed that one Irish Jesuit was a visitor to him at the Mariner’s Club. The two men were complete opposites, his visitor being rigid and fearfully conservative. However, they became good friends. He was also a great letter writer, keeping in contact with the may people he had met in his long life.

He was also obsessively ordered in his own personal life. His room was spotless, everything in its place, and pride of pace being given to a model of the Titanic. He had an infectious chuckle, especially as he held a glass of his favourite tipple in his hand. “What did the policeman say to the kleptomaniac - You better take things quietly”. Laughing at his own joke, he was oblivious to the fact he had told it on numerous occasions.

He had a joyful and adventurous spirit, and peace with himself, man and God. His zeal for finding new ways to minister to people in need with such commitment, his love of family and friends, was a powerful legacy to all who knew him.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

Forster, John, 1870-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1327
  • Person
  • 15 September 1870-01 January 1964

Born: 15 September 1870, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 18 January 1891, Tullabeg/Loyola Greenwich, Australia
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 January 1964, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

FOSTER initially;

Brother of Thomas - RIP 1929

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne and he was the first Novice to enter at Loyola Greenwich in 1891, having been an apprentice draughtsman with Victorian Railways.

1893-1894 After First Vows he remained at Loyola for a Juniorate
1894-1900 He was sent for Regency first to St Aloysius Sydney and then Riverview.
1900-1901 He was sent to Vals in France for Philosophy
1901-1903 He went to Ireland and did two more years regency at Crescent College Limerick
1903-1906 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology.
1906-1907 He made Tertianship at Drongen Belgium
1907-1921 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius Sydney, and he was appointed Rector there in 1916 following the resignation of Patrick McCurtin. During this time he had also become a keen photographer, and he left several albums of photographs of classes, picnics at Middle Harbour and Lane Cove, and of dramatic groups and choirs. He had a great interest in choral works and “Glee Clubs”. His skill as a hand writer, even as an old man, was a source of wonder to all who were taught by him. It was said he cold write the Hail Mary inside a small shell! Fountain pens and biros were “an abomination of desolation”! The steel nib was the only permissible weapon.

He was also a skilled carpenter and painter, and the bricks he laid in the junior yard towards the end of WWI were still good in 1964 before the bulldozers disturbed them for a new building. The Old Boys also tell of his prowess as a bowler and batsman, and even in his late 80s was a keen spectator of rugby and cricket.

He spent a short time at both Riverview and Xavier Colleges. he was Headmaster at Burke Hall 1924-1925 and from there he went to St Patrick’s Melbourne until 1932, when he was appointed Superior at Sevenhill, and he remained there until 1940. He spent a brief period at the Norwood Parish before returning to St Aloysius Sydney for the rest of his life, and he died teaching junior Religion.

By 1961 he had been a teacher for 50 years and at his death, a Jesuit for 73. Even in his old age, he caught the 6.25am tram to Lane Cove every morning to say Mass at St Joseph’s Orphanage. He still taught his writing classes, typed his exhortations which he gave regularly, and was also quite faithful to his Apostles of the Mass Sodality.

In his early years he wrote a book on the Mass “In Memory of Me”, and he was often quoted as an authority on the Mass. Towards the end of his life he produced a commentary on the “Anima Christi”, which found its way round the world, even to Pope John XXIII.

He was a man of the old school who scorned relaxation and concessions. Community duties were sacred even when he was a tottering old man. Until his death, he was still giving the scholastics their renovation of Vows, usually on the topics of poverty, obedience and devotion to Our Lady. He ultimately suffered a mild thrombosis after dinner on the Feast of St Aloysius. He went to hospital and then to St John of God Hospital Richmond where he lingered on for some months. There he found confinement to a wheelchair very restrictive. He had two further strokes than and died soon after.

Note from Thomas Forster Entry
He was a brother of John (RIP 1964) and was a master builder before he decided to follow his younger brother into the Society, He was invited to study for Priesthood but preferred to become a Brother. Both brothers were very intelligent and good musicians - their simplicity was deceptive and some underrated them. He Entered at Loyola Greenwich.

Fynn, Anthony, 1899-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1335
  • Person
  • 22 September 1899-02 February 1965

Born: 22 September 1899, Yea, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1918, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1936
Died 02 February 1965, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL: 05 April 1931

WWII Chaplain

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1928 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at McCristal’s, Mentone, and two separate periods at Xavier College Kew, where he won prizes in Physics, Trigonometry and Devating. He Entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

1920-1923 After First Vows he was sent to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to study at UCD, graduating BSc.
1923-1926 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1927-1930 He returned to Australia for Regency at Xavier College, where he was teaching, was a Prefect of Discipline and editor of the Xavierian.
1930-1934 He came back to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1934-1935 He was sent to make Tertianship at Innsbruck Austria
1935-1938 He returned to Australia and was sent to Loyola Watsonia to teach Philosophy. There he taught Natural Theology, Cosmology, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. He was also Prefect of tones, Choir master and Minister for short periods. He also directed “Question Box” on the radio’s Catholic Hour.

He was fluent in French and German and widely read. He was always refreshing to discuss issues with. He had no hesitation, making up his mind, and in no time he would sweep away doubts or illusions one might have about the subject being discussed. He had a very accurate mind and was somewhat intolerant of mis-statements.

It was said among Jesuits that because he was so gifted at Mathematics and Physics, he was really meant to work at the Riverview Observatory, however others filled in that space. his work as a teacher of Philosophy was not very appealing to him. Then in 1958 he was very pleased to succeed Noel Burke-Gaffney at the Riverview Observatory, and he remained there very happy until his death. In 1962, he supervised the installation of the American seismological network - at that time the most modern equipment available. His presence and scholarship were very much appreciated among the scientific community.

During WWII, when he was an Air Force Chaplain that he discovered the diabetes which was to cause his death. However, he worked so continuously and cheerfully that most were unaware of his sickness. He had a lively wit and some of his comments were memorable. During a meeting of a Provincial Congregation he observed the Professed Fathers approaching the refectory : “If that is the cream of the Society, I am glad to be in the skim milk!”

Gallagher, Richard, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/161
  • Person
  • 19 January 1887-07 September 1960

Born: 19 January 1887, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 07 September 1960, Saint Teresa's Hospital, Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Part of the Wah Yan, Kowloon, Hong Kong community at the time of death.

Older Brother of Leonard Gallagher - RIP 1942

by 1910 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard W. Gallagher, the senior member of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, died in St. Teresa’s Hospital, in the early morning of Wednesday, 7 September 1960, aged 73.

His health had been deteriorating for some years, but his zeal remained unabated and within the limits imposed by infirmity he continued his varied priestly work till within three weeks of his death.

Father Gallagher was born in Cork, Ireland, on 19 January 1887, the eldest son of a very large family. He joined the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1905.

He did his studies in Ireland and Germany and was ordained priest in 1920. After ordination he worked for some years in Ireland, preaching parish missions, teaching, and carrying out the duties of Prefect of Studies. All through his priestly life his preaching was characterised by simplicity, profundity, and lucidity, the outcome of assiduous application of great talents in a spirit of utter simplicity. He had proved himself also a first-class teacher and a brilliant organiser both of studies and of the manifold extra-curricular activities of his school.

The Irish Jesuits came to Hong Kong for the first time in December 1926. Father Gallagher’s varied gifts and complete readiness to do everything that was proposed to him made him exactly what was needed here. He was sent to Hong Kong in 1927 and, apart from one short rest in Ireland after the War, spent the rest of his life here.

He landed on 27 October. On the three following days he preached the tritium in preparation for the Feast of Christ the King in the Cathedral. This plunge into work was symbolic of what he was to do throughout his 33 years here.

In his first years, he taught Philosophy in the Seminary, edited The Rock, gave lectures and retreats, preached, studied Cantonese, and put himself at the disposal to all who needed his help.

In 1932 he was appointed first Rector and first Jesuit headmaster of Wah Yan College, which had been taken over almost at a moment’s notice by the Jesuit Fathers. The school was already well established and the change of administration might have been expected to cause friction. That it did not do so was due chiefly to Father Gallagher’s unvarying tact, courtesy, and understanding of other people’s point of view. Long before he ceased to be Rector in 1940 all had forgotten that friction had once been thought possible.

In December 1941, he was Prefect of Studies in a new college in Austin Road, Kowloon. The siege of Hong Kong and the Japanese occupation put an end to this work. Father Gallagher himself was arrested on 12 December and was not released till 23 January 1942. Soon after his release he went to St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, where he remained till the end of the war, acting as chaplain to the hospital and as intermediary between the sisters and the occupying powers.

In helping the sick and the wretched during those years of distress and recurrent disaster Father Gallagher found full scope for something that was more characteristic than even his talents or his energy - his unfailing charity. (Throughout his life, unkindness of any sort aroused in him an almost physical repugnance.)

After the war he showed similar devotion and charity as chaplain to Queen Mary Hospital, combining with this work ready acceptance of the innumerable calls made upon him as a preacher, conference-giver, adviser, and supporter of Catholic organizations. His association with the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres remained unbroken and the Little Flower Club in particular owed much to his encouragement.

In 1947 he took up the task of conducting the weekly Catholic Prayers from Radio Hong Kong. For the remaining twelve and a half years of his life, almost without a break, he gave these prayers always fresh, always simple, always prayerful, always newly composed for each week. Few broadcasters of any kind can rival his 659 broadcasts. Few, perhaps none, can rival the amount of good he did by broadcasting.

He worked almost to the end. His last broadcast was made less than three weeks before his death. He admitted at last that he was suffering. Medical examination revealed that he had not long to live. An operation became urgently necessary on Tuesday, 6 September, though there was little hope that it could do more than relieve pain.

He died without recovering consciousness at 12:20pm. On 7 September, 55 years to the day after his entry into the Society of Jesus.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 September 1960

Funeral of Fr. Gallagher, S.J.

The late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Thursday, 8 September.

Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was sung in the chapel of Wah Yan college, Kowloon, at 9am: Celebrant, Father H. Dargan, S.J., Regional Superior; Deacon, Father C. Egan, S.J.; Subdeacon, Father R. Kennedy, S.J. The school choir, directed by Father T. O’Neil, S.J., sang the whole Mass, partly in Gregorian, partly in harmony. The large chapel was filled by the large congregation of priests, Brothers, Sisters, past and present students of both Wah Yan Colleges, and other friends of Father Gallagher. Miss Aileen Woods represented Radio Hong Kong from which Father Gallagher had so often broadcasted.

His Lordship the Bishop officiated at the funeral in the evening. Among those present were the Hon. D. J. S. Crozier, C.M.G., Director of Education, the parish priests of the diocese, almost without exception, numerous representatives of the Religious of Hong Kong, priests, Brothers, and Sisters, representatives of the various Catholic organisations with which Father Gallagher was associated, most of the teachers who had received Father Gallagher when he went to Wah Yan College as the first Jesuit Rector, and many of the past students of those days.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong 16 September 1960

Requiem for Fr. R.W. Gallagher, SJ

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., first Jesuit Rector of Wah Yan College, will be celebrated in the school chapel, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 9a.m. on Wednesday, October 5.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 September 1960

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He studied History in University College Dublin with special distinction. He had a remarkable memory and a passion for accurate statistics. In the course of his Jesuit studies, he spent some years in Germany and there he attained exceptional fluency in German, which he liked to exercise to the end of his life.

He came to Hong Kong in 1927, after spending some years in priestly work in Ireland.. He spent his early years here learning the language and editing the Catholic magazine “The Rock”. He became well known as a lecturer and preacher at Wah Yan College.

1932-1940 He was the first Rector/Principal of Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He was always closely associated with the Past Students Association. he overcame opposition by his open sincerity, genuine friendliness and tact. He served for a long period on the Board of Education and he was President of the Hong Kong Teachers Association, as well as being a member of numerous education committees.

He was a tireless visitor to the sick at all times. He served their needs by prayers, which he said from Radio Hong Kong once a week for over 12 years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

Our three repatriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 36th Year No 1 1961

Obituary :

Fr Richard Gallagher (1887-1960)

Fr. Gallagher died in Hong Kong on 7th September. He was ill for less than two weeks, but he was discovered to be suffering from a serious internal complaint, from which he had no hope of recovery. On the day the news of it was given to him an emergency operation was found necessary, and after it he never recovered consciousness. He was seventy three when he died and had completed to the day his fifty-fifth year in the Society.
By his death the Hong Kong Mission loses its best-known priest, its greatest personality and its best-loved member. He was born in Cork, where his father was a leading business-man, and was educated at the Presentation College there. As a scholastic he was conspicuous for his untiring energy. In Valkenburg, where he studied philosophy, he left a reputation for vigour and enterprise that was remembered for many years, and as a scholastic in Mungret he gained a reputation that soon made him celebrated throughout the province. He had many gifts, chief of which was a prodigious memory, so as a history teacher he rattled off dates in a way that bewildered his pupils. He had also the faculty of making up a subject with great rapidity, and he gave lectures on all conceivable topics and was a ready and entertaining speaker. He had a splendid voice, so he sang in public concerts in Limerick and he was an efficient director of the Mungret choir. He sketched and painted with skill, and the stages at Mungret, the Crescent and Milltown had curtains and back-drops painted by him that were up to professional standard. He was at everyone's beck and call, and it would be hard to recall a task that he was asked to do which he was not able to perform efficiently.
Four years theology brought a restraint that he found irksome at first, but he soon found outlets for his surplus energy. He wrote out in a copper plate hand and multiplied the code which Fr. Gannon compiled in his first year as professor of Fundamental Theology, and re-wrote it unhesitatingly when the professor preferred his second thoughts to his first, He gave lectures, illustrated by his own diagrams, on the medical side of moral studies, and if any found first steps in theology difficult, they could go to his room, where lying on his bed with his hands clasped under his head he expounded any thesis that was presented to him.
After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he was Prefect of Studies, taught several classes and preached constantly. It was also related apocryphally of him that in recounting his activities he declared that he also “said all the Masses”. When the College was closed for a period of years he was on the Mission Staff in Ireland and found full scope for his energies in preaching missions and giving retreats - but not for long, for when the Hong Kong Mission was opened, he was assigned to it in the first batch that followed the founders, Frs. G. Byrne and Neary. He arrived in Hong Kong at the end of October 1927, and two hours after landing he preached in the Cathedral for the Triduum of Christ the King, What the circumstances were that made that necessary we are not told, but he loved doing unusual things and making records, and that was one that he liked to recall.
From Hong Kong he went to Shiu Hing, in the Kwangtung Province of China, to study Chinese. While there he also taught English and singing and formed an orchestra in a College run by the Portuguese Mission, and had his studies partially interrupted by a civil war that was then raging in the province, and he went to Shanghai to give missions and retreats and spent a period doing parochial work in Canton. The whole period only lasted nine months but he learned to speak Chinese fluently, if not perfectly, and to the end of his life gave instructions and retreats regularly in that language.
On returning to Hong Kong in July 1928, he took over the work of editor and manager of the monthly magazine The Rock, which had begun publication in January. A few months later he took part with some of the other Fathers in a series of public lectures to refute rationalists who had been offensive and abusive in their attacks on religion in the local press. The lectures caused a sensation, they silenced the attackers and they attracted public attention to The Rock, which then, in the four years that it was under Fr. Gallagher's direction, built up a high reputation in Hong Kong that lasted until the Japanese invasion brought it to an end.
For some of these years Fr. Gallagher was also on the professorial staff of the Regional Seminary, but in 1932 there began what was the greatest work of his life when he was made Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.
This was a Middle School which had been begun by two Chinese Catholic teachers, and had grown so successful that they found it too big to handle. They offered it to the Society as a going concern, but stipulated that it should remain wholly Chinese. It was accepted, but with hesitation at first, because it was realised that neither teachers nor parents nor pupils would be pleased to see the leading Chinese school in the Colony handed over to foreigners. There was opposition and it was unpleasant for a time, but it was overcome, and the one thing that can be said is that Fr. Gallagher made Wah Yan.
If there was ever a triumph of personality in winning over a body of young and old who were complete strangers and not initially well-disposed, it was this. It was not a triumph of organisation, for Fr. Gallagher was not a great organiser. It was recalled that some years later when a new scholastic joined the staff, he asked the Rector, who was also Prefect of Studies, into what class he should go.
“Oh, just range around”, were his illuminating instructions.
It was complete friendliness, joined to firmness when necessary, and absolute support for his staff that won the day. The foreigners that those connected with the school had known hitherto were for the most part stand-offish, coldly official, and breathing an air of presumed authority. The teachers had never known of a headmaster who would go into the common room and sit down to drink tea with the rest, or the boys one who went down among them during the recreation period and talked and joked with them, and if there were black looks ignored them.
There was a hostel attached to the school, a nightmare institution, with rooms all mixed up with the community apartments, and housing in a room five or six who studied in the midst of noise in a way that Chinese can do. Almost anyone else would have wanted to reform it altogether from the start. Not so Fr. Gallagher. He realised that it was the ideal means through which the boys would get to know the priests and scholastics and would spread the news about their friendliness to the rest of the school.
Within a few months everything ran smoothly and it had become what it has since remained, a school in which the happiest relations imaginable exist between staff and pupils, and in which an ideal spirit of unity prevails in the community.
Fr. Gallagher remained Rector of Wah Yan till 1940. During those years, in addition to his work in the school, he was a member of the official Board of Education, he was for several years President of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association, and he was appointed by the Government to every important educational committee that was established, but in this age of conferences and round tables he was not a committee man, though his influence was considerable on several of the bodies on which he served. He dealt with individuals; he let talking go on without participating in it, but when all had their say it was often found that he had been writing, and he had a resolution ready to which the wearied members would be glad to agree.
His methods with his community too were unusual. Some thought that he was inclined to let things slide, but he set himself to make everyone happy; he gave each one the fullest scope and showed the most complete confidence in him. The result was a full response in the most excellent spirit. To visitors his hospitality was unbounded.
War clouds were gathering when he ended his term of office, but soon new duties awaited him. A branch of Wah Yan College existed across the harbour in Kowloon, with the same origin as that in Hong Kong, It was offered in turn to the Society, and in preparation for taking it over some classes were opened in a new house in Kowloon. Fr. Gallagher became headmaster.
This lasted for only a few months, for then the Japanese came and he and Fr. McAsey were made prisoners on the ground that they were English enemies. To Fr. Gallagher's protests, captors answered : “English, Irish, all the same”. That certainly did not silence him, and his protests were so continuous that they agreed to put the matter to Tokyo, but promised dire retribution if his claims were false. Geography won, and the prisoners were released.
He spent the years of occupation in the hospital of the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, where he tended the sick and wounded and dying kept up the morale of nervous Sisters and an anxious staff, and constantly acted as intermediary between the hospital and the Japanese authorities. During these years he endeared himself to all who were in the hospital and the convent, and was their weekly confessor for the rest of his life.
He was seriously weakened by the privations of the war and was sent back to Ireland for a year to regain strength. He came back greatly improved, but he was never quite the same again. For the years that remained he lived in Ricci Hall, the Hostel of the Hong Kong University, and Wah Yan College, Kowloon. The first task assigned him was chaplain to the Catholics in the government hospitals. He did it with his usual thoroughness and devotion. A telephone call in the middle of the night, or as he sat down to a meal, was answered at once, and the more frequent the calls the better he was pleased. Rheumatism in the hip however began to affect him severely. He found it hard to get in and out of cars, and eventually he had to relinquish the main part of his duty as hospital chaplain. But he never relinquished it altogether. He never failed to visit any sick person who wanted to see him - and there were many.
Then he was given as one of his regular tasks the recital of mid-day prayers for a quarter of an hour on the radio on one day a week. He continued this for over ten years, giving regular prayers and a short instruction. A great many people, in particular the sick and the old and the lonely, listened to them regularly. They were always fresh and always most carefully prepared. He prided himself on never missing them, and when he went to hospital for the last time, he was able to say that two were prepared in advance and that he had said them 659 times - he could never afford to be wrong about figures.
It was in reality a mercy that death came to him so swiftly, for he would have suffered greatly. He probably suffered more than he admitted, but to all enquiries about himself at any time, even when rheumatism seemed to make movement very painful, his answer was “Not too bad at all”, and nothing more would he say, To be inactive would have been to him the greatest trial, and we all feel that he died as he would have wished.
We shall long miss his genial presence, his charity - for none ever heard him say an uncharitable word; it was not merely after his death that this was noted of him - his stories, which we had heard so many times, his statistics of rainfall and of winds in typhoons, and his detailed remembrance of everything that had taken place during his thirty-three years in Hong Kong. He was a “character” at all times, but the youthful tornado had given place to kindly old age. He was loved and respected outside the Society as well as within it. At his funeral there were hundreds of people of every kind, priests in great number, Sisters and lay people of every class, Catholics and Protestants and pagans, old pupils, teachers, servants in our houses, convent amahs - and one felt that not a single one of them was there just as a formality, but that all felt that in him they had lost a friend. Messeges of regret and sympathy came from all sides, from the Protestant Bishop of Hong Kong and the Director of Education to simple souls who had never met him but had listened to his radio prayers or remembered a kind act of his. In the Mission of Hong Kong he will be always remembered, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up and left it forever indebted to him. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Gallagher 1887-1960
Fr Richard Gallagher, like his brother Fr Leonard, was remarkable for his gifts of versatility, energy and bonhomie. Born in Cork in 1887, he was educated the the Presentation College there.

Having completed his philosophical studies in Valkenburg, he was a scholastic in Mungret, where he laid the foundations of his reputation as a gifted and versatile man. His memory was prodigious, he could make up any subject with great rapidity, he gave lectures on all conceivable topics, he had a splendid voice of public concert standard, he painted and sketched at will. With all these gifts went unbounded energy, and a willingness to employ them at anyone’s request.

Transferred to Hong Kong in October 1927, one can easily imagine what a field he found for all these talents. It was typical of him that two hours after landing in Hong Kong, he preached in the Cathedral for the Feast of Christ the King. He was editor of The Rock, was on the professorial staff of the regional Seminary, he was the first Recotr of Wah Yan College. As Fr Vincent Byrne said of himself “I made Mungret so that Fr Dick could say I made Wah Yan!”

In 1940 he became headmaster of the new Wah Yan at Kowloon. Then came the Japanese occupation. His health suffered so much during this period, that the war over, he returned to Europe to recuperate. On his return he resumed his activities at a slower tempo. For ten whole years he gave a quarter of an hour’s prayer at midday on the Hong Kong Radio.

He died after a brief illness on September 7th 1960.

His name will live forever in Hong Kong, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up, and left it forever indebted to him.

Gannon, Patrick J, 1879-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/460
  • Person
  • 07 January 1879-12 December 1953

Born: 07 January 1879, Cavan Town, County Cavan
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, St Mary’s, Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex, England
Died: 12 December 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1904 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1916 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

The Fire at Milltown Park :
Early in the morning of Friday, February 11th, fire broke out in the tailor's shop over the Refectory. The alarm was given and the Fire Brigade summoned. At first the progress of the fire was slow, but after a short time it became terribly rapid, and some of the Community were rescued barely in time. Fr. Johnston, Fourth Year Theologian, lost his life. He had remained to dress himself completely, as he was due to say Mass at the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Anne's, and was asphyxiated by the fumes before he could escape - one may say, a martyr of Duty. Fr. Gannon got severely burned, and Mr. Reidy suffered injury to his spine as the result of a fall ; both are doing well and will, it is hoped, be none the worse in the end. The Fire Brigade was able to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the building where it had broken out.

Milltown Park, Dublin :
The morning of Friday, February 11th was a tragic morning here in Milltown Park. The two top stories of the Theologians House (built in 1908 by Fr. Finlay) were burnt out. Fr. James Johnston, a 4th Year Theologian lost his life, Fr. Gannon was severely burnt on his hands and face, and Mr. Reidy dislocated some of the vertebrae of his spine, jumping from a ledge underneath his window.
At 5.30 Br. Kavanagh discovered a fire in the Tailor's Room. He summoned Fr. Smyth, acting Minister, who telephoned for a fire brigade, while a few scholastics endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to extinguish the fire with Minimaxes and water. Br. Kavanagh carried. Fr. W. Gwynn (aged 84) to safety, and Fr. Smyth warned the occupants. of the Theologians House to make for the fire escape.
By this time the stairs end of the Theologians' House was burning fiercely; the fumes and heat in the corridors were unbearable, and it is due to the Mercy of God that so many were able to get to the fire escape before they were overcome with suffocation. In the meantime, the first of the fire brigades had arrived and Frs. Power, Hannigan, Gannon and a couple of scholastics were rescued. The firemen then concentrated on saving the New House which was by this time filling with smoke.
A roll-call shortly after 6 o'clock confirmed that Fr. Johnston was missing, but by this time the whole of the doomed wing was ablaze. Coincidentally with the celebration of the Community Mass at 7.15 the six fire brigades got the conflagration under control.
Offers of assistance and accommodation began to pour in from all sides and within a couple of days ran into thousands.
The Scholastics were transferred to the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, where they stayed for four days. They will always remember the kindness and hospitality shown by the Rector, the Community and the Retreat House staff of Rathfarnham.
On Tuesday 15th the Scholastics returned to Milltown, where a field kitchen, presented by the Army, had been installed. They occupied the Retreat House and many of the rooms had to accommodate two occupants, as the Minister's House also had to be vacated owing to damage and water.
On Friday 18th, the ‘octave' of the fire’, lectures were resumed, and routine was gradually established.
Fr. Gannon recovered rapidly and hopes to be back in Milltown soon. Mr. Reidy is also on his feet again, and he too hopes to be out of hospital in the near future, though he will be partially encased in plaster of paris for a considerable time.
The majority of the occupants of the Theologians' House lost all their personal effects, notes, etc. Fr. Gannon, however, being at the end of the corridor, and having his door closed, will salvage all his books and notes.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 2 1954

Obituary :

Father Patrick Gannon

Father Patrick Gannon was called to his reward very suddenly at Milltown Park during the night of the 11th-12th December. He was in his 75th year, having been born in Cavan on the 7th January, 1879. He was the eldest son of Mr. John Gannon, who was for many years Chairman of Cavan Town Commissioners and, in that capacity, was respon sible for many beneficial improvements in the town. A brother of Father Gannon's, the late Mr. T. A. Gannon, was widely known in the United States as a worker for charitable and Church organisations. Before going to America, he was one of the founders of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League, along with T. M. Kettle, Judge Eugene Sheehy and others.
Father Gannon was educated first at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, in the Intermediate Examinations, and then at Clongowes where he won several prizes and exhibitions. After leaving Clongowes he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg on May 20, 1897. After his noviceship, he continued his studies there and distinguished himself in the examinations (it was an examining body only) of the old Royal University, winning a 1st Class Scholarship, leading the Classical Group in Arts and B.A., and securing 1st Place in both Latin and Greek in all three examinations. He went to Valkenberg for his philosophy. On returning to Ireland he taught classics and English, first for a year or two at Mungret and then from 1907 to 1910 at Clongowes, completing eight years as a Master before going to Theology.
He began his theology at Milltown Park in 1910 and was in due course ordained there in 1913. After his tertianship in Tullabeg he was sent to Ore Place Hastings to do a biennium in theology, after which he returned in 1918 to Milltown Park where the rest of his life was to be spent. During his first year there he was on the mission staff but in the Catalogue of 1919 his status is given as Lect. theol. dogm. vesp. and so it remained for a number of years. Later he taught the Short Course and later still Fundamental Theology. In the last year of his life he was lecturing on Oriental Church questions.
Father Gannon was a ready and eloquent preacher and was frequently called upon to preach on important occasions. He also delivered lectures in Dublin and other places in Ireland. He preached several series of Lenten Lectures at Gardiner St. Some of these series were published in book form as Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He wrote the following pamphlets : Prayer (1923); The Queen of May (1928); St. Patrick and the Irish Church (1932); A Happy Warrior, Fr. M. Bergin, S.J. (1934); Under which Flag (1938); Fr. James Cullen, S.J. (1940); Art, Morality and Censorship (1943); The Church Supreme and Independent (1945).
He also wrote many articles in reviews both in Ireland and in the United States. He always kept up great interest in current affairs both in Ireland and in the world at large. He had a considerable grasp of these matters and held strong opinions. Occasionally he took part in current controversies by means of letters to the Press. Besides these he had many minor interests and occupations for his leisure hours and his vacations.
In the fire which destroyed a considerable part of Milltown Park in 1949, Fr, Gannon was trapped in his room and suffered severe injuries to his face and hands before being rescued by the Dublin Fire Brigade. From this be seems not to have ever fully recovered but up to about five months before his death he did not seem to be failing much. But then the doctor warned him that his heart was not in good condition and, among other things, that it would be dangerous to ride the bicycle. He said Mass as usual on the eve of his death and later visited some friends. The following morning he was found dead in his room.

AN APPRECIATION OF FR. GANNON
Fr. P. Gannon was a professor of theology at Milltown Park for thirty-five years, a longer period than that of any other professor except Fr. Peter Finlay. It is a measure of the esteem which his super iors had for his talents that he held such an important position in the province for so long. It was said that at the retirement of Fr. Finlay from the position of professor of Theology in the National University Fr. Gannon was very nearly appointed to succeed him. It was a position for which his special gifts fitted him in a high degree, and which he would have occupied with distinction.
Perhaps he had too many interests to be a first-class theologian. He was many things besides a professor; he was distinguished as a preacher, a lecturer, a writer, as a publicist. He had quite remarkable natural gifts as a speaker, an unfailing fluency, a good command of language, imagination and a large stock of examples and illustrations, which he had amassed in his wide reading. His style of speaking was vivid, coloured, rhetorical. It was in the traditional of classical eloquence and was often florid. He gave the Lenten lectures at Gardiner St. five or six times, and always drew large congregations. Two of his sets of lectures were published as books, which had a considerable sale, Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He was in constant demand as a preacher especially for solemn and distinguished occasions. His ease in speaking, his flow of thought, his rhetorical bent, made this kind of work a pleasure to him. These sermons cost him very little trouble but in his later years his confidence in himself became a disability, as he thought it absolved him from any immediate preparation.
He was also a fairly copious writer and contributed frequently to Studies, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, The Irish Monthly and to other Catholic magazines in America. He was quick also to join in public discussions and controversies on religious questions. An article he wrote for Studies on hunger striking was probably the first defence by a professional theologian of that weapon newly introduced into political warfare; and it was said the moralists at Rome, who had been considering the question, read, marked and inwardly digested his article.
He had a keen interest in social questions and in international politics; he followed intelligently the great politico-social movements of his time. The rise and growth of Communism and Nazism interested him and disturbed him; he saw clearly the dangers to Faith, to the Church and to Society which they involved and he pointed them out on every possible occasion, opportunc importune. Communism in particular in his later years became a kind of obsession and every subject led on to it. His convictions even in matters of scholarship were very strong ly held and dominated him to such an extent that he could not see any aspect but his own. He was perhaps at his best as a lecturer, where his talents had their fullest scope, and he was constantly asked to speak on Catholic platforms. As a retreat-giver he was also well known; he must have given priests' retreats in nearly every diocese of Ireland. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1954

Obituary

Father Patrick Gannon SJ

Father Patrick Gannon died suddenly at Milltown Park during the night of the 11th-12th December. He was born in Cavan on January 7th, 1879. Before coming to Clongowes, the future Jesuit had spent some years at St Patrick's College, Cavan. During his secondary school course, he won several prizes and exhibitions. He entered the Society in 1897 at Tullabeg and studied for his degree in Ancient Classics in the old Royal University. As in his school days, so now and henceforth in his studies as a Jesuit, he showed himself a man of brilliant gifts. He was sent to Valkenburg, Holland, for his philosophical studies and on the completion of these returned to Ireland to take up for some years the work of teaching in the schools of the Society. After some years teaching at Mungret, he came to Clongowes in 1907 and taught here for the next three years. He left Clongowes in 1910 for Milltown Park and was ordained priest in 1913, After his tertianship, he was sent for advanced studies in Theology to Hastings where the Jesuits of the Paris province of the Society then in exile had their principal house of studies. On the completion of his post-graduate studies in Theology, Father Gannon was appointed to a professorship in Milltown Park, where he remained until his death. Throughout his life, Father Gannon had many interests besides that of his professorship. He was one of Ireland's best known preachers, a lecturer and writer, a much sought-after spiritual director. He was in constant demand as a preacher especially for solemn and dis tinguished occasions. He proved a brilliant lecturer in the pulpit of St Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, where he gave the Lenten Lectures many times during the twentes and thirties. Two of his published works which proved to be best sellers were simply amplifications of his lectures on “Holy Matrimony” and “The Old Law and the New Morality”. He was also the author of many pamphlets on religious and social questions as well as a frequent contributor to the learned contemporary reviews. He was a formidable adversary in the controversies which occasionally find a forum in the daily newspapers. But he was first and last a great priest who prayed and battled for the honour of Holy Church in whatever he spoke or wrote.

His affection for his old school never waned with the passing of the years. He seldom missed our Christmas play, was frequently present on the occasion of a gala debate in the House, and for many years spent Christmas with the community at Clongowes. His passing was sudden but not unexpected even by himself. We can feel confident that he has entered on the incorruptible inheritance promised those who “instruct others unto justice”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1954

Obituary

Father Patrick Gannon SJ

The death took place at Milltown 1 Park on December 12th of Father Patrick Gannon SJ. Father Gannon taught at Mungret in the years 1906-07.

A native of Cavan he was educated at Clongowes Wood College and at St Patrick's Seminary, Cavan. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1897 and studied Ancient Classics in the old Royal University before going to Valkenburg, Holland, to study Philosophy. Afterwards he taught Classics and English at Mungret and Clongowes Wood Colleges. He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in 1913. Before taking up His life work as Professor of Theology and Apologetics Father Gannon did some special studies at Hastings with French Jesuits.

In the fire which destroyed part of Milltown Park in 1949, Father Gannon was trapped in his room and sustained severe burns to his face and hands before being rescued. He never completely recovered from the shock he sustained though he continued some of his teaching and writing to the end. Father Gannon was an eloquent preacher and was much in demand for sermons, retreats and missions. He also acted as Catholic champion in many press controversies. He preached several series of Lenten lectures at Gardiner Street. He was also a contributor to the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record”, “Studies” and other periodicals in Ireland and America. RIP

Garahy, Michael, 1873-1962, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/556
  • Person
  • 20 October 1873-14 February 1962

Born: 20 October 1873, Cloghan, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 14 February 1962, County Waterford

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1896 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1898
by 1911 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Garahy spent part of his schooling at Mungret, and joined the novitiate in 1893. He did philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, and then sailed to Australia and to Riverview, 1899-1904. He taught, looked after boarders and the Sodality of the Angels, all apparently well. When he was moved suddenly from the one class to another, the students of the class protested to the prefect of studies that they wanted him to stay and said, “My word sir, he does get you on”.
Returning to Ireland, his main work as a priest was preaching and parish work.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937

Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under bis jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938

Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938

Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two Jesuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street

The passing of Fr. Michael Garahy from amongst us has left quite a big gap in the lives of many amongst the community and staff of Gardiner Street. For some five months the care of him. day and night, had become a constant occupation for many and despite the attention he required and the trouble he could make at times, he won and held to the end the love and affection of all who were so devoted to him by his simplicity and personal charm which stayed with him until his death. He died on Wednesday, 14th February. He was with us all through his declining years except for the last five days when, where he was, meant little to him and the best that could be done became inadequate. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anant. We take this opportunity to thank Fr. Mark Quigley for his appreciation of Fr. Garahy's life's work which is given elsewhere in this issue of the Province News, Very Rev. Fr. Visitor was present at the solemn Requiem Office and Mass at Gardiner Street on 16th February, having travelled up from Tullabeg where he was then on visitation; Fr. Provincial presided; Fr. Superior was celebrant of the Mass; Fr. Tyndall deacon; Fr. Mac Amhlaoibh sub-deacon; Fr. Raymond Moloney, Milltown, M.C. To Milltown Park we are indebted also for supplying the choir. We wish to record our thanks to them for their generous help on all occasions.

Obituary :

Fr Michael Garahy (1873-1962)

Fr. Garahy passed away peacefully on the morning of 14th February. On the 16th a very fitting tribute was given him by the presence of Fr. Visitor, the Very Rev. John McMahon, S.J., by a large attendance from the Dublin houses of the Society and by a great concourse of people. The Solemn Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. M. Meade, Superior, with Fr, Tyndall as Deacon and Fr. McAuliffe as Sub-Deacon. Mr. Oliver O'Brien performed at the organ and rendered the Dead March as the coffin was carried out of the church.
Fr. Garahy was born on 20th October, 1873. He was a native of Cloghan, Offaly, and lived for a time with his grandmother in Birr while attending the Presentation Brothers school. He was also at Mungret during Fr. Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and at Mount Melleray. He entered the Noviceship in 1893, did Philosophy at Valkenburg from 1895 to 1898, was six years teaching at Riverview and one year at the Crescent, Limerick. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1905, and taught the Short Course there for a year before going to the Tertianship at Tronchiennes in 1911. He taught at Milltown again for two years till 1914 when he became Miss. Excurr, and was stationed at Tullabeg. In 1918 he went to Rathfarnham and was there till 1941 when he went as Operarius to Gardiner Street.
It was in 1914 the present writer knew him first. Of his previous life those of our time only knew of him by hearsay. For example we remember Fr. Martin Maher tell that when Fr. Garahy as a scholastic in Riverview was changed from a certain class, the class came to Fr. Maher, who was Prefect of Studies, to ask to have him left with them. “My word, sir”, they said, “he does get you on”. During the past fifty years and more, I think that as a great personality and because of his very distinguished work, Fr. Garahy has filled a very special place in the Province. As a preacher he was quite outstanding. His voice was powerful and melodious, a perfect instrument for the earnestness and conviction with which he spoke, His message was given in a straight-forward style with plenty of clear and solid doctrine. I think the subjects touching on the Incarnation and the Passion showed him at his best and most typical. Once when some of us went to University Church to hear his Seven Words, we heard a priest who had come in only for the last sermon or two say to another, what a pity they had not been there for them all. Eloquent and thundering in some mission sermons, he had a very intimate, conversational and pleasant way in instructions, and also in enclosed retreats, if one can judge by one retreat he gave to the community at Milltown. He was widely known and appreciated for his retreats to the clergy. Fr. C. Mulcahy once told us of the delight of the parish priest of Rahan, who said that Fr. Garahy had given them in Meath “a retreat full of new thoughts”.
His friendly way made him a great favourite with the parish clergy and with many of the bishops of his time. He found it easy to join in conversation with them, and to be interested in the lives and doings of ordinary people. He had no side and would discuss or argue a question with the simplest of people. He once brought me to Cloghan to visit his mother, a very old lady then. They were discussing the war and she was lamenting some act of the Germans in France. “Wasn't that vandalism now”, she said, “It was not, mother”, said Fr. Michael, and proceeded to explain and to defend the Germans' action. He had always a love for the Germans and would recall with pleasure his days in Valkenburg, and sing or quote songs he had learned there.
In our own communities Fr. Garahy was always a centre of interest, and often of liveliness and fun. He was full of interesting anecdotes of his life on the missions. As well as giving missions in Ireland and England, he had gone on a mission tour with Fr. Mackey to South Africa. He allowed himself to be easily drawn into argument, and would defend his point strongly or indignantly, but sincerely and without bitterness. He lent himself willingly to any simple fun that was going. When Fr. Eustace Boylan came from Melbourne, via Rome, full of life at eighty, and spent a memorable month or so at Gardiner Street, he found Fr. Garahy a perfectly sympathetic sharer in his ever-bubbling hilarity and good humour. On hearing that a fire took place in Newry during the evening devotions when Fr. Garahy was preaching, Fr. Boylan gave rein to his imagination in a few verses to the enjoyment of all :

    Fr. Garahy stood in the pulpit
And spoke to the crowd below,
And his eloquence rose to a terrible height,
As the next day's papers show.

But just as his soaring eloquence
Was going to soar still higher,
A puff of wind caught the last few words,
And the neighbouring house took fire,

And so in Newry nowadays
They brighten the streets at night
With prints of Garahy's fiery words
Instead of electric light

And watchmen heat their tea-cans
At funnels of gramophones
Fitted to discs that thundered forth
The missioner's fiery tones.

And later when 'twas learnt that 'twas
The Bishop's strong desire
That Fr. Garahy should come back
To set the town on fire.

The enterprising shopmen
Advertised the coming sales
Of fireproof frocks for the maidens
Asbestos for the males.

The more one thinks of Fr. Garahy, the more one feels the loss of him as a source of inspiration and happiness in the Province. His strong features could at times express sternness or indignation, but it was some thing evil or mean or unjust that would rouse him in this way. And his denunciation of wrong was effective. A well-known member of the con fraternity in Gardiner Street used to call Fr. Garahy “the hammer of the Society”. His normal expression, however, was one of kindness and the most natural, smiling friendliness.
Apart from the preaching activities already referred to, Fr. Garahy achieved the highest standards in preaching on special occasions. One recalls his Lenten Lectures, published in pamphlets under the title of Idols of Modern Society and a fine sermon on St. Peter Canisius. He gave a weekend retreat in Irish in Milltown many years ago, with Fr. Michael Saul, and gave at least one mission in Irish in Co. Kerry with Fr. Michael McGrath,
All his achievements left him the simplest of men, a man without guile. For the last two years Fr. Garahy's life has been one of inactivity because of his great age. He has needed special help. But in his decline he was gentle, serene and happy.
This grand man, Fr. Michael Garahy, goes from amongst us full of merits, to be greeted by a smile more winning than his own, of the Master he served so happily and so well.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1923

Our Past

Father Michael Garahy SJ

Fr Michael Garahy SJ (M L S, '89-'93), writes to tell us of an exciting journey to Bantry last summer, whither he went to conduct a retreat in the Convent. The railway from Cork to Bantry being torn up and several bridges blown down, he luckily happened on an inhabitant of that town, a man from New Zealaud settled in Bantry. This gentleman he met in a hotel in Cork, and learned from him that he purposed running down in his motor to Bantry that day. He agreed to give Fr Garahy a lift, the only other occupant being an old nun. A mile outside Cork the fun began. From this point for nearly twenty miles the road. lay through boreens, through fields, and, getting near to Bantry, they were forced to take to the railway line, and bump along over the sleepers. The old lady took it with marvellous sangfroid, and appeared to be quite fresh at the end of the seventy miles ride. Bantry presented the appearance of a Mexican town during the late civil war, Every house of any size was sandbagged and bullet spattered. Day and night sniping went on during the retreat, the Republicans usually firing from a wood near the convent down into the town. The firing was so intense one evening that the usual lecture had to be abandoned, and Fr Garahy, on his way home to the PP's house, had to convoy a party of ladies from the convent to their homes into the town amidst a perfect inferno of machine-gun fire..

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Sermon for the Golden Jubilee of Mungret College SJ

Father Michael Garahy SJ

“In the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed”. (Ecclesiasticus xxiv 3-4).

Your Grace, My Lords, Very Rev Fathers, and Dear Brethren -

The presence within the halls of Mungret of this distinguished gathering of her sons at to-day's celebration is not only a graceful tribute of their respect and a'ection for their old college; it is, I venture to say, a singularly felicitous testimony to the part played by Mungret in laying well and truly the foundations of the success which so many of her students have achieved. To anyone curious to learn what your. Alma Mater has accomplished within the half-century since her foundation the Rev Rector of Mungret might reply without fear of appearing unduly boastful : “Si monumentum quæris circumspice hodie”.

A Happy Coincidence
It is certainly a happy circumstance, that the golden jubilee of Mungret as an ecclesiastical and lay college has synchronised with the most splendid event in the history of the Irish Church, the celebration of the great Eucharistic Congress in the capital of Ireland. That it should also coincide with the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the coming to Ireland of her great Apostle, Saint Patrick, is a matter of more than passing interest to the students whom Mungret has sent forth to preach and uphold the Faith of St. Patrick in lands beyond the seas. Yes, Providence has dealt kindly by Mungret in this year of her golden jubilee by bringing together from near and far, some of them from the far distant outposts of Christ's Empire, the illustrious audience of her sons which I am privileged to address to-day. Mungret welcomes them with the joy of a mother proud to see gathered around her again the men whom she strove to form in the spirit of Christ, whom she sent forth from her halls to play the part of Christian gentlemen, whether as priests or laymen, and her welcome could not be otherwise than heartfelt and proud when she remembers how magnificently her hopes have been realised.

Fifty years is not a long span by which to measure the work done by your college, and yet so much history has been made within that half-century that one is tempted to apply to her the well-known quotation from the Book of Wisdom : “Being perfected in a short space; she has accomplished the work of a long period of years”. Of the nature of that work, of its importance both to Church and State, it is sufficient for the moment to say that from its foundation in 1882 the College of Mungret has served as a training ground for young aspirants to the priesthood and for Catholic boys destined for the lay professions or a business career. I shall speak later of the immense importance of a thoroughly Catholic education to the latter class.

The work of the Apostolic School, concerned with the formation of those whom Christ has called to assume the tremendous responsibilities of the priesthood, naturally claims pride of place in any survey of Mungret's activities.

The Founder Father Ronan SJ
How the idea of founding such a school took root in the mind of the man whose name is imperishably linked with the story of Mungret, is easily explained. Father Ronan, who planned it, and
worked for it, and lived to see the tiny mustard seed he had planted grown to a goodly tree, was first and fore most and all his life through a man of God. He was also a member of an Order whose founder, St Ignatius, had been quick to see the enormous importance of providing the Church, battling for her life against the Lutheran heresy, with learned and holy priests, and had worked with such success towards that end that from the colleges he had established there poured forth the shock troops who held up the sweeping advance of the Protestant heresy in the sixteenth century. For twenty years previous to the founding of the Apostolic School, Father Ronan had been employed in giving missions up and down through Ireland. His missionary work had made him intimately acquainted with the lives and character of the people. He had always taken a deep interest in the young folk of the various parishes in which he had work ed, for the reason that his special line as a missioner had brought him much into contact with them. Father Ronan usually asked for and was allowed to take over the catechising of the young people in the missions in which he took part. He was not slow to see that amongst the boys who attended his instructions, both in town and country, there was an abundance of excellent material to draw upon for the supply of priests so sorely needed on the foreign missions. It was, however, to the poorly staffed dioceses in the English-speaking countries beyond the seas that his thoughts chiefly turned. He had learned how grave was the need of truly apostolic priests in these remote territories where the Catholic population, comparatively small in numbers, and living in an atmosphere either fanatically Protestant or religiously indifferent, were in serious danger of drifting from the faith. The homes of Ireland bred young men admirably fitted to take on this arduous work, but the establishment of a school to prepare them for the priest hood was not to be lightly undertaken, without the necessary financial backing, and the problem that troubled his mind for many years was how to procure the wherewithal to found. such a school. He was already well advanced in years, and at his time of life to set about collecting the money necessary to the success of his project appeared to him to be a task beyond his ability. At the same time he felt that some small beginning ought to be made.

Fr Ronan’s Opportunity
The opportunity offered when Father Ronan was appointed Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. Here was a school with a staff of professors already in being. He needed only to
rent a house adjoining the Crescent College. His young students would thus be enabled to follow the course of studies in the College, and for their upkeep and educational expenses he trusted to find the necessary funds from the pensions of the students, supplemented where necessary by donations from generous benefactors. His hopes in this direction were more than realised, Beginning with eight students in 1880 the number soon grew to thirty. The Bishop of Limerick Dr Butler, Dr Croke Archbishop of Cashel, and a number of distinguished lay gentlemen - amongst them Lord Emly, Sir Aubrey and Sir Stephen De Vere - gave their wholehearted support to the undertaking, while many of the Irish clergy contributed generously for several years to the funds of the Apostolic School.

Fr Ronan’s Deeptest Concern
But the formation of his students on the right lines was naturally a matter of deeper concern to the founder of the Apostolic School than the money question. The nature Concern of the work he had in view for them called for strong men - strong in character, strong in faith, strong in the love of God, with a clear conviction of the responsibilities of their vocation, and trained to bear the hardships and withstand the temptations that beset the priest in lands where the faith has a hard struggle, and survive in an atmosphere reeking with materialism and unbelief. Father Ronan rightly felt that the young men destined for missions such as these needed a special character formation, needed to be deeply grounded in piety, to be solidly educated. Above all, he saw the necessity of placing them under the watchful care of : a holy and prudent director, so that undesirables might be weeded out, and only those who gave fair promise of doing the work of God conscientiously should be entrusted with the care of souls in these dangerous surroundings. He had heard of and was deeply impressed by the system of training followed in the Apostolic Schools conducted on the Continent by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. He visited several of these schools, and saw for himself how the young men were prepared for the foreign missions at Tournhout in Flanders, at Poitiers, Monaco, and Anjou.

Fr René’s Services
Father Ronan was fortunate enough to meet at Paray-le-Monial a young French Jesuit who had in the preceding year filled the office Services. of director of the Apostolic School at Poitiers. From their first meeting Father Ronan seemed to see in him the right man to undertake the work of piloting the new school through its first difficult years.

Father René, with the approval of his superiors, gladly consented to accept the direction of the school in Limerick, and was duly installed at the Crescent College in 1887. A couple of years after the school had been transferred to Mungret he was appointed Rector of the College, and it was under his direction that the system of training peculiar to Mungret gradually took shape. Father Réné was a man of unusual ability, a born organiser with a great store of common-sense, a little hard, perhaps, in his methods of government, and with rigid views as to discipline that did not always commend themselves to the freedom-loving young Irishmen committed to his care. But of one thing there can be no doubt : he possessed in a high degree the qualities especially considerate in the young men with whose formation he was entrusted zeal for the glory of God, and a spirit of self-denial that led him, when his work in Mungret came to an end, to volunteer for the terrible mission of Alaska, where he laboured for several years until his health broke down. To Father Réné and the devoted French Fathers who worked with him from 1882 till their return to France in 1888, most honourable mention is due for their distinguished services to the school whose Golden Jubilee we celebrate to-day. Another French gentleman prominently identified with the history of Mungret, a great benefactor of the College and beloved of all the students who knew him, Monsieur l'Abbé l'Heritier, also deserves very kindly mention for his services as professor of science during the many years he filled that office in Murgret.

Founder’s Expectations Realised
Time does not allow me to trace the history of the Apostolic School in the years that followed. It is enough to say that the system adopted in Mungret fully justified the most sanguine
expectations of its founder, Within a few years Mungret began to be favourably known as a school where the boys received an excellent education. In the University examinations, in competition with the highly endowed Queen's Colleges, Mungret students were well to the front, and carried off a goodly proportion of the most coveted distinctions in Classics in English Literature, and in Philosophy. But what gladdened the heart of Father Ronan and the superiors of the College more than anything else were the highly complimentary reports that began to pour in from the heads of colleges where the Mungret students had been sent to complete their studies. It became a sort of tradition in the Propaganda and the American Colleges in Rome, as well as in All Hallows and Carlow, to expect big things of the Mungret men. Their spirit of piety, of hard work, self-reliance, and observance of discipline, could not fail to attract notice, and it was quite a usual thing for the students of Mungret to be promoted to positions of trust in their colleges during their Divinity course. It could hardly be otherwise when one remembers that character formation and the habit of prayer had been carefully cultivated during their years in Mungret.

The System of Training
The system in vogue in the College is roughly modelled on that adopted by the Society for the formation of its own novices and scholastics. It undoubtedly exacts much of the young men to whom it is applied, but if it does, it certainly helps to make men of those who take the training. Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the efficiency of the system is the fact that the Apostolic School in the comparatively short period of its existence, and with a student roll that has rarely exceeded sixty, has already given to the Church an archbishop and six bishops. Several of her students occupy the responsible positions of heads of colleges - one of them at least as large as Maynooth - in America and Australia, while amongst the prominent Churchmen in the United States and in the British Colonies, Mungret is well represented. Finally, it is worthy of note that a number of her students have won distinction as writers - in philosophy, apologetics, ecclesiastical history, and social science. The chief merit, however, of the Mungret training is that it has given to the ranks of the secular clergy and to the religious Orders so many priests esteemed for their blameless lives, their solid piety, and their devotion to duty, When one considers under what unfavourable conditions these priestly virtues have been exercised, one sees how wisely Father Ronan and his successors builded, how every stone in the edifice was tested, and how the completed work stands as a splendid monument to the zeal and courage of those who made Mungret what it is. In late middle life Father Ronan did not shrink from the hardships of a journey to America to raise funds for the extension of the college buildings. He brought back with him not only the money necessary for that purpose, but a considerable sum to found a number of burses. His work as a missioner often kept him away from Mungret for long intervals, but his heart was always there. He loved every stone in its walls, and when the Winter of his life drew on, and the old man came to rest from his labours, his last years were spent in the midst of his beloved apostles. Too old for active service, he could still pray. Indeed, his days were spent in prayer till the end came and Christ called him to receive the Crown of Justice for which he had worked so faithfully through all the years of his long and faithful life.

Removal of the Apostolic School
When the Apostolic School was removed from the Crescent College to Mungret, Dr Butler, the Bishop of Limerick, who was a great admirer of Father Ronan, and had taken a deep interest in the new foundation, decided to entrust the education of his own diocesan students to the care of the Jesuit Fathers in Mungret. This arrangement, as well as the opening of the new college to lay boys, evidenced the working of the school on efficient lines, for it was obvious that the expense entailed in providing a competent staff of teachers could not be met if the Apostolic School, which only numbered thirty students at that time, were to be run as an independent unit. The Seminarians as the diocesan students were called, followed the course of studies in Mungret for six years, until Dr O'Dwyer, desirous of providing his diocese with a seminary under his own management, withdrew his students to the present St Munchin's College. Their connection with Mungret, brief as it was, won for the College a number of devoted friends amongst the Limerick priests. Mungret is proud to know that they are amongst the most respected priests of the diocese, and she welcomes them here to-day no less warmly than the past students of the Apostolic and Lay Schools.

Jesuits as Educators of the Laity
The foundation of a Lay School in con junction with the Apostolic College had entered into Father Ronan's plans from the beginning. If he looked for great things from the latter as a feeder of the missions, he was also keenly alive to the importance of providing educational facilities after the Jesuit plan to boys intended for a career in the world. In this he was true to type, to which Father Ronan belonged, had from its earliest days devoted itself enthusiastically to the education of the laity. This is not to be wondered at when one considers the motives that led Ignatius to found the Society of Jesus. The dream of his life is embodied in the great meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, “The Kingdom of Christ”. His sure grasp of the realities convinced him that the simplest as well as one of the most effective means of realising that dream was the establishment of schools for the education of Catholic youth. These schools would put into the hands of his Society a powerful instrument for forming the rising generations on the principles of Christ, for training them in habits of virtue, for instilling into their souls at the most impressionable period of their lives a love for God and a respect for His holy law. As a matter of fact, so successful were the Jesuit schools in furthering these ends, and at the same time so high was the standard of excellence reached even in the teaching of secular subjects, that in every country when the Society was permitted to open schools, higher training of the Catholic youth to a large extent passed into their hands. For this success the Jesuits have had to pay a heavy price. It will hardly be disputed that one of the chief reasons why the Society has incurred the mortal hatred of the enemies of Christ, why her schools have been suppressed and her members driven into exile on so many occasions in the various countries of Europe, is that, taking them all in all, the young Catholics trained in their colleges have been the most influential as well as the most determined opponents of the anti-Christian organisations.

Fortress of Christianity
In this connection it is not out of place to call attention to the tremendous pressure that is employed to-day in many countries to close down the schools in which religion is taught to the laity. The enemies of God have learned by experience that the most potent weapon in their armoury to destroy all faith in the supernatural, to uproot Christianity, and establish the reign of materialism, is the Godless school. They are equally persuaded that the religious, schools are the fortresses of Christianity, that wherever religion is inter 'woven with education the materialist advance is held up. One need not be an alarmist to see how the storm clouds are gathering that threaten to engulf our Christian civilisation, and there can be little doubt that the issue between Christ and anti-Christ will be decided in the schools. If the Church in these critical times has need of holy and zealous priests to teach the people the truth, to strengthen them in their faith, to encourage them by their example, she has even more urgent need of brave and resolute men, men of faith and men of action, in the ranks of the laity.

Ideals of the Lay School
I have been at pains to show what the training given in Mungret has been able to effect in the case of the Ideals Apostolic School. I may now be permitted to set. forth the ideals aimed at in
the training of the lay scholars. Stated briefly, these ideals are to make them not only educated men in the common acceptation of the term, but, before all else, to fashion them into good Christians and good citizens. And here is the place to state that education, as we Catholics conceive it, is a much wider thing than the training and perfecting of man's natural faculties. We do not seek to minimise the importance of this training; on the contrary, we demand that the greatest care be taken to bring out all that is naturally good in man. Catholic education looks to the development of the body. It looks more closely to the improvement of the mind. It would bring to bear on the pupil all those civilising influences that help to form the character and refine the mind. It considers a thorough grounding in the classics, in literature, in history, in the arts and sciences, indispensable to a finished education, and it recognises the great importance of cultivating in the pupil a respect for the natural virtues - for truth and justice and honour and temperance. But it does not stop there. This, after all, is only a part, and the least important part, of a man's education, and the reason is obvious, once it is remembered that man is something more than a being composed of a natural body and a spiritual soul, that he has been by the act of God raised above his natural to a supernatural state, that his final end is something immeasurably more splendid than the winning of worldly success, that it is to win the favour and love of God in this world and the kingdom of God in the world to come. Now, since a religion supernaturally revealed and attested by the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been given to men to enable them to realise this end, to know and love and serve God, it follows that a knowledge of this religion, a respect and love for this religion, is the most necessary element in this education. In a word, true education will aim at making man before all else a good Christian, and in doing that it will also contribute powerfully to mould him into a good citizen.

Definition of a Good Citizen
And first let us be clear as to what we mean by a good citizen. I think it will be generally agreed that these are the broad outlines of his character. He is above all things an upright, honourable man, a man who respects the rights and feelings of others, a man whose conduct is ruled by principle, not by self-interest, a man who is clear in his conscience, and master of his passions. Now, men of this type are not born into the world. These qualities are no natural inheritance. They are the fruit of many a hard and bitter struggle against human passion. Some tremendous power other than mere strength of will or fire of character is required to produce men of this stamp. Catholics know that this power is the grace of God, and that religion is the avenue to the storehouse of God's grace. Leave out religion and you rob man of the most helpful means to fashion himself into a good citizen. Experience goes to show that this reasoning is sound, for the really religious man is invariably a witty member of society, and, contrariwise, a huge percentage of the wastrels of society, the criminal class, the crooks and swindlers and anarchists, are, as a rule, destitute of religious beliefs, and for the most part products of the Godless schools.

It was to offer another training ground for the attainment of these ideals that the Lay College in Mungret was founded. It was felt that association with the brilliant, hard-working students of the Apostolic School could not but have a stimulating effect upon the lay students religiously and scholastically, and looking back at the history of the Lay School, it may be fairly said that the experiment has worked success fully. The lay students of Mungret have reflected credit on their teaching. They are honourably represented in the professions. Many of them have won successes in business, and a very fair proportion are working to-day as zealous priests both on the secular mission and in the religious Orders.

Words of Gratitude
In conclusion I believe I am voicing the feelings of the Society when I offer grateful thanks to this distinguished gathering of students who have honoured us with their presence here to-day; to the many students of Mungret who, though far away, are with us to-day in spirit; to all the benefactors of Mungret, both living and dead; and chief amongst these to the St Joseph's Young Priests' Society; to the Rectors and professors of Mungret, who worked so strenuously to make the College worthy of the object for which it was founded. To each and to all the Society tenders devoted thanks, to those who planted, and to those who watered. Finally, to Him Who blessed their labours, Who gave the increase, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom greater glory the College of Mungret was founded, the Society of Jesus and the students of Mungret unite in offering glory and honour and benediction. Amen

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father Michael Garahy SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr Michael Garahy, which took place on February 14th.

Fr Garahy was born in Cloghan, Offaly. After leaving Mungret he spent some time in Mount Melleray. He did some of his studies in the Society in Germany, and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1908.

He was attached to the Mission Staff from 1914 to 1941, and a well known and distinguished preacher both in Irish and English. His retreats were also much appreciated by the clergy.

Earlier in his career he spent about six years teaching in Australia, and was Professor of Theology in Milltown Park for three years prior to 1914. In 1937 he was invited to make a special preaching tour in the Union of South Africa, which he did with distinction. For the last twenty years he was a member of the St Francis Xavier Community. RIP

Gates, Joseph, 1889-1947, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1352
  • Person
  • 20 March 1889-19 July 1947

Born: 20 March 1889, Killyman, County Tyrone
Entered: 10 September 1909, Tullabeg
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, Corpus Christi College, Werribee, Australia
Died: 19 July 1947, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1913 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was a tall and well built colourful Northern Irishman who Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1911-1915 He was sent for Juniorate to Milltown Park Dublin and then to Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands for Philosophy
1915-1918 He was sent to Mungret College Limerick and Clongowes Wood College for Regency
1918-1922 He was back at Milltown Park for Theology
1922-1923 he made Tertianship at Tullabeg
1923-1925 He was sent to Australia teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1925-1926 He was sent to work at the Norwood Parish
1926-1931 He was sent to Sevenhill where he was appointed Superior and Parish Priest
1931-1933 He was sent back teaching at St Ignatius College Riverview
1933-1936 He was sent to the Lavender Bay Parish
1937-1938 He was at the Richmond Parish
1939-1942 He was sent to the Toowong Parish
1942 He was sent to St Mary’s Parish in Sydney where he died.

He held very extreme views and was very anti-British, and yet he was kind a friendly in any personal dealings. He was a gifted, hardworking and orderly man, and not necessarily the easiest of people to live with due to the passionate views he held. As such he didn’t stay in any one house for very long.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 3 1947
Obituary :
Obituary :
Fr. Joseph Gates (1887-1909-1947)
Joseph Gates was born at Drumkee, Killyman, Moy, Co. Tyrone on March 20th, 1887, of farmer stock. He was the youngest of four sons and he had seven sisters. He was educated at. the National School in Drunkee, and went at the age of fourteen to Dungannon Academy, where he spent five years, 1901-6, and then to Armagh Seminary for three years, passing the First Arts Examination in 1909.
He entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 10th, 1909, and after the noviceship spent a year at Milltown attending University lectures, Philosophy followed at Gemert in Holland. In 1916 he was teaching in Mungret, in 1918 at Clongowes, doc. ling: gall, et math. He was ordained in Milltown on August 15th, 1921 and during his fourth year of theology took his place in the long line of chaplains to the Royal Hospital for Incurables. After tertianship (Tullabeg, 1922-3) he was sent to Australia.
From his arrival in Australia until his death Fr. Gates was most of the time operarius in various houses, St, Aloysius' in Sydney, Norwood and Sevenhill in South Australia, Richmond in Victoria, Lavender Bay, Brisbane, and finally Miller Street in North Sydney. He was also at different times Minister, Procurator, Spiritual Father, Superior (in Sevenhill), Editor of the Jesuit Directory and Editor of a parish magazine. He taught at Riverview and St. Aloysius.
Fr. Gates was the author of several booklets, published by the Messenger Office, Dublin, dealing with Catholic Apologetics. Among them were “Rampar Dan”, “The Wee Mare”, “Sleepy Hallow”. He did much in his earlier years as a Jesuit to promote sympathetic contacts between Irish Catholics and their separated Protestant brethren of the northern counties. A man of charming gaiety and rare zeal, he laboured incessantly to promote the cause of religion in the country of his adoption. Fr. Gates died in Sydney on July 19th. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Gates 1887-1947
Fr Joseph Gates was from the North, being born at Drumkee County Tyrone on March 20th 1887. He was educated at Armagh Seminary, obtaining a First Arts there in 1909.

Entering the Society in 1909, he went through the ordinary course, , doing his Colleges in Mungret and Clongowes. After his ordination he was sent to Australia, where he served faithfully in many capacities, including editorship of the Jesuit Year Book.

He had a flair for writing, and the Messenger Office published a number of pamphlets of his dealing with Apologetics : “Ramper Dan”; “The Wee Mare”; “Sleepy Hollow”. He was deeply interetsted in the question of the reunion of Catholics and Protestants, especially from his mown North, and he often lamented the loss of our Northern house at Dromore, and urges the acquiring of some other one in its place. He did much in his earlier years as a Jesuit to promote sympathetic contacts between Catholic and Protestant in the northern counties.

Perhaps we may say that his prayers and efforts are bearing fruit today?

He died in Sydney on July 19th 1947.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1948

Obituary

Father Joesph Gates SJ

Those who were in Mungret, 1916-18, will. I remember the big burly scholastic of untiring energy who was on the teaching staff at that time. Father Gates was born in Co Tyrone and entered the Society, in 1909. He pursued the usual studies of the Society and was ordained in 1921 in Milltown Park. He was the author of several booklets which helped to promote sympathy with Protestants of the Northern Counties. He was transferred to Australia, and as a writer, preacher, teacher and administrator earned the gratitude of all. He was well known among the Mungret Past, for his kindly sympathy and understanding in his ministerial labours. He died at Sydney, July 19th, 1947

Gough, Ignatius, 1624-1693, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1378
  • Person
  • 1624-18 February 1693

Born: 1624, Sutton, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1643, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 25 March 1651, Louvain, Belgium
Final vows: 04 October 1654
Died: 18 February 1693, Dublin Residence

Alias Goagh

His father Patrick was Mayor of Dublin and his mother was Anne Piers. Father was landowner at Sutton, mother was from Iristernagh. His brother forfeited the estate. A stone at Sutton has family arms of Gough with inscription G & P. Anne Piers’ brother was a priest and uncle Thomas a Franciscan. William Piers - great grandfather of Fr Gough - sent Shane O’Neill’s head to Dublin!
Studied Humanities in Ireland and then 4 years at Antwerp under Jesuits
1646 At Mechelen College
1649 Not in Catalogue
1666 Catalogue On the Mission in Dublin having returned from Holland where he was a missioner for 9 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Patrick (Mayor of Dublin) and Anna née Piere or Piece. A Cousin of John Ussher, whose brother tried to deny Ignatius of his inheritance (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Early education in Humanities was in Ireland, and then at Antwerp under the Jesuits. He was admitted to the Society by FLA Provincial Andrew Judocus and sent to Mechelen for his Noviceship. (Mechelen Album)
1666 He had recently arrived in Ireland from Holland, and he lived in Dublin engaged in many of the Mission’s affairs.
He spent fifteen years in Holland and twenty years in Ireland (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Secomd son of Patrick (Mayor of Dublin) and Anne née Piers
Educated at Antwerp before Ent 05 October 1643 Mechelen
After First Vows, studied at Louvain where he was Ordained 25 March 1651
1654 He was a Military Chaplain at Brussels, then he taught Humanities for a year at Oudenaarde, Belgium, and then made his Tertianship
1657-1665 Missionary work in Holland
1665 Sent to Ireland and to the Dublin Residence, where he spent the rest of his life as a Catechist, Teacher and Operarius until his death there 18 February 1693
He was heir to a considerable inheritance which provided a foundation for the Dublin Residence and enabled the Fathers of the Mission in Ireland to support themselves. But the Gough estate was confiscated on the fall of Dublin to the Williamites

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GOAGH, IGNATIUS. This Father, as I find by the letter of his Superior, F. Patrick Lynch, dated Dublin, the 19th of March, 1693, had died on the 18th of February, aet. 68, Soc. 48. He had spent about 15 years in the Mission of Holland, and 25 years in the same capacity in his native country.

Grogan, Patrick, 1902-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/665
  • Person
  • 03 March 1902-27 February 1980

Born: 03 March 1902, Cloghan, County Offaly
Entered: 12 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 27 February 1980, Saint Paul's Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Studied for B Ag Science at UCD before entry

by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Grogan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Grogan, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in St. Paul’s Hospital on 27 February 1980, aged 77.

Father Grogan was born in Cloghan, Offaly, Ireland, on 3 March 1903. He joined the Jesuit novitiate in Ireland at the end of his university studies in 1925, did his philosophical studies in a German Jesuit College in Holland, and came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1930.

In 1932 he was a member of the first group of Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College, and Wah Yan was to be the scene of his activity for 31 of his remaining 48 years. After theological studies and ordination - 31 July 1936 - in Ireland, he returned to Wah Yan in 1938. He spent the war years partly in mainland China, partly in India, and returned again to Wah Yah in 1948. He moved to Malaysia in 1962 and served very happily in Assumption Parish, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, till 1970. Then for the last time, he returned to Wah Yan.

He was already aged 69; but he returned, not to enjoy honoured retirement, but to play a vital part in the life of the school. From the beginning of his teaching career he had taken a deep interest in all the boys of every class and in all their concerns. This interest, which he never lost, sharpened a remarkable memory. Even in his last years, he seldom failed to recall the face and the characteristics and the family and the later career of anyone whom he had known as a student in the 1950s or the 1940s or the 1930s. It sometimes happened that an old student, on returning to Hong Kong after years overseas, would find that his family had dispersed and his friends had forgotten him, but Father Grogan would lift his heart by remembering all about him and his family with interest undimmed by the passing of years.

In his last years Father Grogan had to cut down his teaching, but he never gave up. To within a few weeks of his death he still taught a class a day, and took complete charge of training in verse speaking for the whole school, and he still knew the boys and their ways as he had always known them. His apostolate was not merely an educational apostolate: it was also an apostolate of friendship and affection.

His fellow Jesuits will miss him as a good companion, a practiced raconteur, an exceptionally shrewd adviser and a devoted priest. He will remain in the memories of many hundreds of Wah Yan students, past and present, as someone who really cared.

The Bishop was chief concelebrant at the Requiem Mass in St. Margaret’s Church on 28 February. Father Gabriel Lam, V.G., in his homily paid eloquent tribute to Father Grogan, whom he had come to know and revere as his teacher years ago in Wah Yan.

Bishop F.A. Donaghy, M.M., officiated at the graveside in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 March 1980

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg having graduated BAg at the Agricultural College in Dublin (Albert College, Glasnevin).

1927-1930 After First Vows he was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy.
1930-1933 He was sent for Regency to the new mission in Hong Kong and was one of the first scholastics to be sent there. He was first sent to Sacred Heart School in Canton, and then he was sent to St Joseph’s Seminary in Macau (1931-1932). By Autumn 1932 he was one of the first Jesuits to teach at Wah Yan College Robinson Road.
1933-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, after which he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1938 He returned to Hong Kong as Minister at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
After WWII he returned to teach and to Prefecting at Wah Yan Hong Kong until 1962 when he was sent to Singapore. A a teacher and Prefect at Wah Yan he was known to be very kindly and got to know many generations of Wah Yan boys extremely well. He had a phenomenal memory for names and faces of the boys, and he was proud of having taught some grandsons of his former pupils.
1970 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan. Although officially retired, he continued to take English conversation classes with Junior boys until shortly before his death. He also continued to coach boys for the Hong Kong Speech Festival. He was the advisor and overseer for the College magazine “The Star” all through the 1970s. In the Jesuit world he was also responsible for the distribution of the internal “Vice-Province Letter”.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Father Patrick Grogan “....... in Moral Theology and Canon Law, and especially in making the right approach to the right authorities, there was no one to equal him. I think he was at his best as our Mission Superior during the siege of Hong Kong”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 2 1980

Obituary

Fr Patrick Grogan (1902-1925-1980)

The Hong Kong Mission lost a devoted apostle with the death of Fr Pat Grogan (27th February 1980). This news reached his relatives and friends at home in Ireland early in March. Although Fr Pat had reached the ripe age of 78, his demise was an unwelcome surprise to the countless friends he had made both at home and abroad.
Most of his life was spent in Hong Kong, but he was also well known in Macao as well as in Tan Chuk, where he had made many friends with the Maryknoll Fathers during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.
His death took place in the French hospital, Causeway bay, Hong Kong, among the French Sisters of Charity, with St Aquinas of the Columban Sisters attending.
The requiem Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Hong Kong, Bishop Wu, assisted by Maryknoll Bishop Donaghy, with more than 30 priests concelebrating. He was buried in the cemetery at Happy Valley beside his old friends of the Pontifical Foreign Mission Institute of Milan (PIME), Frs Granelli and Poletti, well-known characters in Hong Kong parochial life. He is with the unforgettables. RIP

Fr Grogan’s soul went to meet his Lord on 27th February 1980, after a heart attack, He was 78 years old and had spent about 45 years in the Far East. Parishioners of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where he spent six years as PP, sent messages of sympathy, and offered prayers and Masses for the repose of his soul and in thanksgiving for all the help he gave as a devoted priest.
Few know that he graduated from a Dublin university with a B Ag (Agriculture) degree. Having done so he joined the Jesuit order, to imitate the Sower whom our Lord speaks about in his beautiful parable. He spent those years already mentioned as a sower of God's truth in the Far East, working in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore (one year) and Petaling Jaya. But most of his life was spent in the classrooms of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as a teacher and counsellor.
We are told that grace builds on nature, Father Pat had a great gift of imitation, and this gift with God's grace became a spiritual charism. The result was seen in his imitation of our Lord, so that he became Christlike in many respects. In Fr Pat there was a great commitment to God's glory, a deep concern for others, fortitude in long suffering, great zeal, gentleness and meekness and, where necessary, strength.
His natural gift of imitation was remarkable. It helped him to master perfectly the very complicated Cantonese tones. To hear him speak you would not think be was a foreigner. He would cause you to shout with laughter when he imitated the Cantonese hawkers, shouting their wares in the streets of Hong Kong or Malaysia. A hawker would pass and Fr Pat’s imitation of him was a perfect echo. If he had gone to Hollywood instead of being a sower of God's truth, he would have become famous. He could have impersonated all the great filmstars to perfection.
In 1932 Mr Peter Tsui and Mr Lim Hoy Lan (RIP), the founders of the well-known Chinese college of Wah Yan, handed over the college and hostel to the Jesuit Fathers. The teachers, college and hostel students were rather concerned. They had not had much contact with Europeans and were rather worried and fearful. Fr Pat was in charge of the hostel. He had a special charism for dealing with hostel students. He ruled by kindness and gentle instruction and made the hostel a “home from home”, a policy which Frs Brian Kelly and Albert Cooney used in other hostels. The result was that when the teachers and students saw how happy the hostel students were, their concern diminished, and then began a great work of conversions and lifelong friendships.
After the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese, Fr Pat was sent to Free China to work in a seminary. When the communists were advancing, he and Fr Ned Sullivan were ordered to fly the seminarians over the “Hump” to India. When peace came, he returned to the classroom in Hong Kong. In 1961 he went to Malaysia to be PP of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, till some local priests were available to take over after seven years: then back again to the classroom.
His return to Hong Kong was hailed with great joy by the generations of his past students and converts. He had a memory like a computer, only that it was accompanied by a sympathetic heart. He could remember his old friends and their families, their cousins and in-laws - and even their out-laws!
His histrionic gifts bore great fruit. For many years his students took the leading prizes for public speaking, elocution, debating and production of plays. He was remarkable, as also was Fr Albert Cooney, for getting jobs and positions for his students,
Many students used to come to him for consolation. At school they had been treated in a fraternal and Christlike manner, and they expected all foreigners would treat them likewise. They were surprised when they were scolded and made lose face by angry managers. They came to Fr Pat depressed, wishing to resign and at times in despair. As counsellor, he used to give advice which enabled them to face with fortitude the trials of life.
I am sure that he received a great reception from the Holy Family. My imagination pictures him regaling friends in heaven, if they had 1.5 hours of heavenly time to spare, by telling them one of his short stories. I picture also St Peter keeping Fr Pat busy when his generations of past students apply for admittance. Fr Pat would point his spiritual finger at some of them and say “I told you so”, and then add “Au revoir, we shall meet again, choy kin”.
Fr Pat was a great sower of our Lord's truth, and I am sure he prays for an abundant ripening harvest.

Gwynn, Aubrey, 1892-1983, Jesuit priest and academic

  • IE IJA J/10
  • Person
  • 17 February 1892-18 May 1983

Born: 17 February 1892, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Entered: 30 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 18 May 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin Community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn
by Noreen Giffney

Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn (1892–1983), Jesuit priest and academic, was born 17 February 1892 at Clifton, Bristol, England, the second son among six children (four boys and two girls) of Stephen Lucius Gwynn (qv), writer and MP, and his wife and first cousin, Mary Louise Gwynn, daughter of Rev. James Gwynn of Dublin and Bath. Born into an esteemed Church of Ireland family, he was the great-grandson of William Smith O'Brien (qv), the grandson of Rev. Dr John Gwynn (qv), regius professor of divinity at TCD (1888–1907), and the nephew of Edward John Gwynn (qv), provost of TCD (1927–37). On his mother's conversion to Roman catholicism (1902), Aubrey, his brother Denis Gwynn (qv), and their siblings were received into the catholic church at Farm Street, London, and brought up as catholics. Due to the nature of his father's work, much of Aubrey's early life was divided between London and Dublin.

Educated at the Jesuit Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1903–8), Gwynn spent a year of private study in Munich before becoming the first student to sign the register at the newly chartered UCD, where he later gained first-class honours (BA, 1912; MA 1915) in classics. When Fr William Delany (qv) admitted him to the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg, Rahan (1912), Gwynn intended to join the Chinese mission and work in Hong Kong, but under the guidance of Delany's successor, Dr T. V. Nolan, he entered academic life. After studying for a year at Rathfarnham, he went in 1916 on a travelling studentship to Oxford (Campion Hall), where he was awarded the Cromer essay prize (1917) and graduated B. Litt. (1919). He taught classics and German for two years at Clongowes (1917–19) before spending two years studying philosophy at the Jesuit College, Louvain (1919–21), and a further four years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 24 July 1924 and trained for a final year in Exaten, the Netherlands (1926), then took his final vows in Dublin on 2 February 1929.

Initially employed (1927) as an assistant lecturer in ancient history at UCD, Gwynn replaced Daniel A. Binchy (qv) as lecturer in medieval history on the latter's appointment as Irish Free State minister in Berlin. When John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) resumed his duties as professor of history in 1932, he was so impressed with the young lecturer's abilities that he had his position made permanent. Sixteen years later, in 1948, Gwynn was appointed first professor of medieval history. Actively involved in the administration of UCD, he was a member of the governing body, dean of the faculty of arts (1952–6), and a member of the NUI senate. He also served as president of the RIA (1958–61).

A pioneering scholar, Gwynn wrote or edited numerous contributions to ancient, medieval, and modern history, on such subjects as Roman education, Archbishop Richard Fitzralph (qv) of Armagh, and Irish emigrants in the West Indies. His many articles, numbering over one hundred, as well as his reviews, which he often initialled P. D. (‘Poor Devil’), were published in various journals, including the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Analecta Hibernica, and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. As a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission (1943–74) he revived the study and publication of the Calendar of Papal Letters. He was exonerated after being accused, by Regina Zukasiewicz, of stealing her deceased husband's manuscripts (1956). Despite being plagued by bouts of depression, he gained international recognition and an array of awards, among them offers of honorary doctorates from QUB (1964), and TCD (1965) – the second of which he declined. However, Gwynn was not impressed with his honorifics asserting that the only qualifications he required were SJ – alluding to his membership of the Society of Jesus.

Gwynn lived mostly with the Jesuit community at 35 Lower Leeson Street (1927–62), where he was superior of residence (1932–45). A keen supporter of the Missionary Sisters of St Columba and St Joseph's Young Priests’ Society, he helped to establish the latter's civil service branch (1930), advised on the preparing of their constitution (1945), and was editor of their quarterly magazine, St Joseph's Sheaf (1927–49). After he retired from UCD in 1961 he moved to Milltown (1962), where he lectured for two years on church history and tended to the library (1962–6). He remained active, despite failing eyesight, until a fractured femur left him in St Vincent's Hospital; he then moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, where he died 18 May 1983. He was buried two days later, following funeral mass at the Jesuit church, Gardiner Street.

Aubrey Gwynn's private papers, Jesuit archives; file of correspondence between Robert Dudley Edwards and Aubrey Gwynn (1950–68), UCD Archives, LA 22/782–3; F. X. Martin, ‘The historical writings of Reverend Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Medieval studies presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., ed. J. A. Watt, J. B. Morrall, and F. X. Martin (1961), 502–9; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn’, Hibernia (1962), 10; University College Dublin. Report of the president for the session 1961–62 (1962), 72–4; Burke, IFR (1976), 532–3; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Father Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Ir. Times, 21 May 1983, 8; Irish Province News, xx, no. 11 (1983), 348–50, 367–9; Report of the president, University College Dublin 1982–83 (1983), 154; R. D. Edwards, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Anal. Hib., xxxi (1984), xi; F. X. Martin, ‘Aubrey Osborn Gwynn, 1892–1983’, Royal Irish Academy Annual Report, 1983–4 (1984), 2–6; Clara Cullen, ‘Historical writings of Aubrey Gwynn: addendum’, Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., The Irish church in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, ed. Gerard O'Brien (1992), xiii–xiv; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the person’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 375–84; Fergus O'Donoghue, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the Jesuit’, Studies, lxxxi (1992); 393–8; Katherine Walsh, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the scholar’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 385–92

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Recent articles by Fr. Aubrey Gwynn in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” were the subject of a very flattering notice in the 4 October issue of the 'Times Literary Supplement'. They referred to valuable contributions made by him to the history of the Dublin diocese in the 11th century, and in particular to interesting discoveries about Bishop Patrick of Dublin, whom he proves to have been a monk at Worcester under St. Wulfstain and author of the medieval scholastic poems in one of the Cotton MSS.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 3 1983

Milltown Park
Fr Aubrey Gwynn (†)
Aubrey Gwynn went to his Maker at 6.45 on the morning of 18th May: requiescat in pace! The Province will hardly see his like again. From his childhood days in London at the turn of the century, he could remember great events like the funeral of Queen Victoria, and the celebrations on the relief of Mafeking. Yet right to the end he took an interest in everybody and everything; he was in no way out of touch or out of sympathy with the times; he and the scholastics greatly enjoyed each other's company. Again, he was both a consummate scholar and a zealous, devout priest. In his late eighties he was still contributing learned articles to Seanchas Ardmhacha, and was rarely, if ever, missing from his accustomed spot at community Mass. In his earlier years he had been closely associated with St Joseph's Young Priests Society and the Columban Sisters, and both these bodies have contributed appreciations which are printed below. It is also perhaps worth recalling how well Aubrey succeeded in being on excellent terms with staff at Maynooth College and with members of the Hierarchy. At the funeral, Maynooth was represented by Mons. Patrick J. Corish and Dublin archdiocese by Bishop James Kavanagh: Cardinal 0 Fiaich regretted being unable to attend, owing to the death of his own brother (Dr Patrick Fee).
Aubrey is remembered with great affection by the Milltown Park community (here we are gathering into one many golden opinions) as a Simeon like figure, who redeemed the dignity of old age, never grumbled, complained or criticised, was so full of gratitude for his Jesuit vocation; who forty years ago treated scholastics as adults; the last of the generation of giants. He will continue to be remembered for his patient faith, his independence of spirit, tolerance of change, good humour, conviviality at table, debonair gentlemanliness, desire for life and determination to live, helpfulness and encouragement, graciousness, faithfulness and dedication, simplicity and humility.
One member of the community writes as follows: “Every day for ten years Aubrey concelebrated the Community Mass: at 10 am on Sundays, at 5.30 pm on weekdays in term, at 12.15 pm on weekdays in vacation and on Sundays. This showed an impressive willingness to adapt to different hours - a strength of faith which enabled him really to enjoy such varied styles of worship.
His loyalty to ‘The College’ (UCD, represented at the funeral by Mons. Feichin O'Doherty) showed me that an institution can be served with discrimination, with neither cynical detachment nor bland adoration.
His warm interest in each of us in the community was enormously encouraging - so different from the intrusive questioning by those who want to pigeon hole me for some future use, and different from the inattention of those who seem afraid to make human contact with me even for the length of a meal.
Another member expresses his appreciation in the following words: “I will remember Aubrey as a big man, a man who spanned the centuries and felt at home in many of them including much of our own. I will remember him as a grateful man, grateful to God and to us at Milltown. I will remember him as a lovable man who aged with grace and dignity. Finally I will remember Aubrey the priest, who celebrated the daily Eucharist with us faithfully and with determined step.
A fellow-historian and friend of Aubrey's, Katherine Walsh, who dedicated to him her recent work on Archbishop Richard FitzRalph, wrote from Vienna to the Rector as follows: “Kind friends contacted me by telephone and telegram to break the sad news of the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn, May I offer through you my deepest sympathy to the community of Milltown Park, also to the Irish Jesuit Province, of which he was for so long a distinguished and respected ornament at home and abroad. My personal sense of loss is great - it was not merely FitzRalph that bound me to him. His personal and scholarly qualities were such that I valued his friendship, advice and encouragement very much. Also my husband Alfred learned to share my very deep affection for him and wishes to be associated in this word of appreciation. Our subsequent visits to Ireland will be the poorer without the pleasure of his great company. Requiescat in pace”.
Mr Brendan Daly of Waterford, who was National President of St Joseph's Young Priests Society from 1975 to 1982, sent the following appreciation: “For over forty years, Fr Aubrey Gwynn played a very important part in the formation and development of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Space will allow for only a brief mention of the highlights of these activities. From 1927 1949 he was the Honorary Editor of ‘Saint Joseph's sheaf’, the Society's quarterly magazine. During most of this same period, he was also a member of a the Society's governing Council. In 1930 helped to establish the Civil Service Branch, and was its chaplain until 1936. He was also actively involved in the formation of other vocational branches. He advised on the preparation of the Society's 1945 Constitution.
Fr Gwynn gave of himself quietly but building up a Lay Society that its identity, purpose and motivation in the Eucharist and membership of the Mystical Body of Christ. He encouraged greater lay participation in the Apostolate of the Church, and imbued members with those ideals that were subsequently to be voiced in the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. He was a true priest of Jesus Christ who helped many lay people to live their own royal . priesthood. He has helped St Joseph's Young Priests Society to build up a rich heritage - a heritage which it values and shares with many, many others'.
The Vicar-General of the Missionary Sisters of St Columban, Sr Ita McElwain, sent the following tribute: Fr Aubrey Gwynn had a long and happy association with the Missionary Sisters of St Columban. This came about through his relationship with Mother Mary Patrick, formerly Lady Frances Moloney, who was a friend and contemporary of his mother. Mother M. Patrick knew Aubrey from his childhood and followed his career with interest. He, in turn, had a lifelong regard for her, and greatly admired her spirit and courage when, at the age of fifty, she joined the little band of women who were destined to become the first members of the Columban Sisters.
“Fr Gwynn was a regular visitor to the Motherhouse at Cahiracon, Co Clare. On at least two occasions he gave retreats to the sisters there, as well as an occasional triduum of prayer to the to student sisters at the house of studies located at Merrion square at that time. The house at Merrion square was cquired in 1942 when Mother M Patrick was superior-general of the he Columban Sisters and Fr Gwynn superior of the Jesuit house at Leeson Street. Father offered to provide a weekly Mass for the sisters, and this continued He advised on the preparation of the for many years. He came whenever he could and took a keen interest in the sisters studies and in the sisters fully in themselves when they were missioned finds overseas. Especially worthy of note was his invaluable help and support to the sisters doing medical studies: this was at a time when it was quite a departure for sisters to undertake the study of medicine and surgery. Fr Gwynn is remembered by us as a devoted priest and renowned scholar; a loyal friend whose invaluable advice and experience were greatly appreciated by a comparatively young and struggling congregation; a very open-hearted and good-humoured man who kept in close touch with us through all the years of our existence. May his great soul rest in peace”.
The following is the text of Aubrey's last letter to the Columban Sisters: 2nd Dec. 1982.
Dear Sister Maura.
Very many thanks to you all at Magheramore for the splendid bird that was duly delivered here yesterday evening as on so many other happy occasions. And my special greetings to those of your community who may remember me from the old days in Merrion square and Fitzwilliam square. I shall be 91 years old next February, and am beginning to feel that I am an old man.
For the past 21 years I have been very happy here, where everyone young and old about here is very kind. And I am ever more grateful for the many blessings I have received during my 91 years. Blessings on you all at Magheramore, and may Mother Patrick, who was my mother's friend, rest in реаcе.
Yours in Xt, / Aubrey Gwynn, S.J.'
The appreciation by Professor Geoffrey Hand appeared in the columns of the Irish Times on Saturday, 21st May.

Obituary & ◆ The Clongownian, 1983

Fr Aubrey Gwynn (1892-1912-1983)

By the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus has lost one of its most distinguished and well-loved members.
He was born on the 7th February, 1892, at Clifton, Bristol, where his father, Stephen Gwynn, man of letters, historian, poet and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was at that time tutoring in a private crammer's. The Gwynn family were descended from Welsh settlers in Ulster during the 17th century, and were noted for the number of them who entered the ministry of the Church of Ireland. They also had a long and distinguished connection with Trinity College. Stephen's father, Rev John Gwynn, was Regius Professor of Divinity 1888-1917, and author of the great edition of the Book of Armagh, whilst his brother, Edward John Gwynn, was Provost of Trinity 1927-37. But the later generation of Gwynns had a strong infusion of Celtic blood, for Stephen Gwynn's mother was the elder daughter of William Smith O'Brien.
In 1896 the Gwynn family settled in London, where Aubrey attended a private preparatory school. He used to relate how amongst the small pupils was one Harold Macmillan – later British Prime Minister - who in some way made himself obnoxious and was sent to Coventry by his schoolfellows. The head master complained to their parents, with dire results for Aubrey, since at that time his father relied largely for income on his work as reader for the firm of Macmillan. In 1902 Mrs Mary Louise Gwynn was received into the Catholic Church and was followed by her children. Two years later Stephen Gwynn decided to return to Ireland and Aubrey was sent to Clongowes. He was accompanied by his elder brother, Lucius, a promising scholar who died at the age of twenty-nine after a long struggle against tuberculosis, and his younger brother, Denis, later a distinguished biographer and Professor of Modern Irish History in University College, Cork. Whilst at Clongowes, Aubrey already displayed his brilliance. He spent two years in Rhetoric class, winning in the first year the medal for first place in Senior Grade Latin, and in the second year the corresponding medal for Greek.
On leaving Clongowes, Aubrey had a year's private study in Munich and then entered University College, Dublin, becoming a member of Winton House, the predecessor of University Hall, He took his BA degree in 1912 and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. After the noviceship he studied at Rathfarnham for a year, preparing for the MA and travelling studentship. The two years of the studentship were spent at Oxford, ending with the B. Litt. degree and Cromer Greek prize. Then followed two years teaching classics at Clongowes, philosophy at Louvain, theology at Mill town Park, ordination in 1924 and tertianship at Exaten, Holland, 1925-26.
Father Gwynn's first entrance into the life of University College was in 1927, when he was appointed lecturer in Ancient History. From then on, he was the recipient of one distinction after another. He became lecturer in Medieval History in 1930, professor of Medieval History in 1948, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1951-56, member at various periods of the Governing Body of University College and of the Senate of the National University, President of the Royal Irish Academy 1958-61. In 1964 he was awarded the honorary degree of D. Litt. by Queen's University, Belfast.
As lecturer and professor Father Gwynn won universal praise. On his retirement in 1962, he was made the recipient of a Festschrift, a volume of essays on medieval subjects, edited by three of his colleagues, J. A. Wal . B. Morrall and F. X. Martin, OSA. The contributions by some twenty scholars from Irish, British, continental and American universities, were evidence of Father Gwynn's reputation outside Ireland. In the Foreword Professor Michael Tierney, president of University College, Dublin, emphasised the esteem in which Father Gwynn was held in his own country.
The essays gathered in this book are a well-deserved tribute to a man who has been a leader in historical work and in general scholarship for more than thirty years ... His unanimous election as President of the Royal Irish Academy was already evident of the position he held in the Irish world of learning... for a quarter of a century he has been the leader and teacher of a band of young scholars, and his pupils have achieved fame outside Ireland in countries where his own reputation had preceded them.'
Reviewing this volume in the Irish Times, another tribute was paid to Fr Gwynn by Professor F. S. Lyons, (later Provost of Trinity College) :
“Perhaps we are still too close to assess the full impact of Fr Gwynn on medieval studies in Ireland. But even now we can recognise that it has been very great. Great not only by virtue of his talents which, rather casually maybe, we have tended to take for granted, great not only because of the extent and quality of his published work, but great precisely through the influence he must have exer ted as a teacher”.
In addition to his constant work as lecturer or professor, Fr Gwynn displayed throughout his life an extra ordinary activity as a writer. Three of his major books are considered to be standard works of their kind, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, Oxford, 1920, The English Austin Friars in the time of Wyclif Oxford, 1940. The Medieval Province of Armagh 1470-1545, Dundalk, 1946. He also collaborated with District Justice Dermot F Gleeson in producing the monumental History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin, 1962. But, in addition, a flood of articles poured out from his pen, or rather typewriter. In the volume above referred to, Rey Professor Martin has listed over fifty of these articles, which are not articles in the ordinary sense, but learned monographs on ancient, medieval and modern topics. And this does not include the book reviews which he contributed steadily over the years to Studies and other learned journals. In this connection, a piece of Province folklore is worth preserving. Formerly book reviews in Studies were signed only with the writer's initials. Fr Gwynn felt that the initials AG were appearing with monotonous frequency, and alternated them with P.D. Asked what these letters signified, he smilingly replied ‘Poor devil'.
Although Fr Gwynn played such an active part in the life of University College, this did not mean that he he was in any way remote from the life of the Province. On the contrary, he was a most loyal and devoted member of it. He was a good community man, always in good humour, interested in the doings of others and ready to put his talents at their disposal. During his long stay in Leeson Street (he was Superior, 1932-'45), he did much to advise, encourage and help our Juniors who were passing through University College. For a considerable period he acted as editor of St Joseph's Sheaf, the organ of St Joseph's Young Priests Society, and enticed to write articles for it, thus giving them a useful introduction to the apostolate of writing. His loyalty to the Society in general was manifested by his constant study of its history, and many his articles dealt with the apostolate of Jesuits in various ages, especially on the foreign missions. Fr Gwynn had a special interest in the missions, and had close links both with our own missionaries and with others throughout the country, notably the Columban Fathers and Sisters.
On his retirement from University College, Fr Gwynn moved to Milltown Park. He lectured for two years on Church History and acted as librarian, 1962-6, but it became clear that he was no longer able for such tasks, and the rest of his retirement was devoted mainly to the revision of his articles on the medieval Irish Church, with the purpose of publishing them in book form. This again proved too much for his failing powers, and his final years were spent as a semi-invalid, consoled by the kindly care of the Milltown community, who came to regard him as a venerable father figure. His ninetieth birthday was signalised with a concelebrated Mass and a supper at which he received an enthusiastic ovation. He was reasonably active to the last until a fall resulted in a broken femur, the effects of which he was unable to recover. After some was weeks in St Vincent's Hospital, he was moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died peacefully on 18th May. His funeral at Gardiner Street was the occasion of a remarkable ecumenical event. It was presided over by BishopJames Kavanagh, representing His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, and some of the burial prayers were recited by Right Rev.George Simms, former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and of Armagh, whose wife is a cousin of Fr Gwynn.
Fr Aubrey used to relate an incident which occurred when he was studying at Oxford. When the time came to submit part of his thesis to his supervisor, he followed the old Jesuit custom of inscribing the letters AMDG at the top of each sheet. The manuscript was returned to of him addressed to Rev A M D Gwynn, The writer unconsciously hinted at a truth. The familiar letters may not have been Fr Aubrey's initials, but they were most certainly the inspiration of his life.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 30 : December 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : FATHER AUBREY GWYNN

Sister Sheila Lucey

A Columban Sister working in the Philippines pays tribute to the life and work of Father Aubrey

I first met Father Aubrey Gwynn in August in 1945, when I was assigned, straight after my profession, to our house of studies at 56 Merrion Square. Even then he had become a kind of Guardian Spirit to our young student sisters - some were studying medicine, others nursing, and I and a companion were taking up arts.

It was through Mother Mary Patrick that our sisters had come to know Father Gwynn. It seems that she had been a friend of his mother's. So, when the Columban Sisters came to Merrion Square in the early 40's a friendship started .which was to last throughout Fr Gwynn's long life.

His special concern was for the young student sisters. It was he who started the tradition of an eight o'clock Mass on Sunday morning, for the Merrion Square community, so that the students could have a longer sleep. He made it clear that there was to be no getting up earlier to study! When he couldn't come himself, he arranged for one or other of his brethren in Leeson St, to say the Mass, In later years, in the late 40's and early 50’s, he came for daily Mass.

Invariably he came for Midnight Mass at Christmas, in his very best attire, a beautifully-cut long clerical dress-coat. That was always a big occasion, and he seemed to enjoy every moment of it. Indeed, he was part of so many community celebrations in those years.

I remember how well he cooperated with all our clandestine preparations for Sister Mary Veronica's Silver Jubilee.

Right from the beginning, I found him a fascinating and stimulating personality, and a warm friend. He took a keen interest in each of us and in our studies. At the end of my first year I was asked to switch from German, as a degree subject, to history, which it was considered would be more useful on the missions. Certainly he made a difficult change easier for me. For two years I was his student. He initiated me into realms of history which were new to me, so I found his lectures valuabie, though I learned more from him outside the lecture-room than inside. Each vacation he arrived over to our house with an armful of books for me to read during the break, and he didn't limit himself to history - he also brought along some critical works on the English writers I was studying.

But it was after I finished my basic degree, and was sent on for graduate studies, that I really got to know Fr. Gwynn. At that time, he was coming for daily Mass, and at least a few times each week I was asked to see him in the parlour while he was having his breakfast, Those breakfast sessions stretched out longer and longer! He was so much of a medievalist that he could enter into all aspects of my MA thesis, on The Ancren Riwle (a medieval rule for anchoresses, which was also a treatise on the spirituality of that kind of life).

Later, when I got into my doctoral thesis, he got even more involved. This was right into his field, because the topic (English Prose Written by Irishmen in the Seventeenth Century) turned out to be as much historical as literary. It couldn't be otherwise in such a century, so full of religious and political controversy. From Professor Hogan I had imbibed a life-long appreciation of seventeenth century Eniglish literature. Now under Fr Gwynn's unobtrusive prodding I discovered for the first time that I had a glimmering of and historical sense after all!

Working on those seventeenth century writings, many of them anonymous, or written under pseudonyms, one had to be something of a literary sleuth. To satisfy" Fri Gwynn the evidence had to be exact and complete. He was a scrupulously honest scholar, and he expected those he worked with to be the same.

I certainly owe it to Fr Gwynn that I was able to persevere with my research and complete my PhD thesis. Theoretically Professor J.J. Hogan was my adviser, but he was an extremely busy person in those years. Besides he wasn't, familiar with the writings I had got into. In practice, Fr. Gwynn was my adviser and strong support throughout the years when I worked on my PhD thesis.

Indeed, many growing points of my life I seem to owe to Fr Gwynn. He it was who first launched me into print. While I was still a student he got me to review a book for Studies, a distinct honour in those days. (in fact, Fr Burke-Savage, the editor, asked that I used a nom de plume because “he didn't want all the nuns in Ireland to be wanting to get into the pages of Studies”. Shades of women's lib!). This was how I earned my first cheque for writing, and no later cheque ever made me feel so proud, (Strictly speaking my payment should have been the book, but Fr Gwynn purchased this for the Leeson St. house).

Another growing-edge of the mind happened when I'r Gwynn persuaded my superiors to allow me to go to Oxford and to the. British Museum in London, so that I could research by topic more thoroughly. Many of the writings. by Irishmen of the seventeenth century survive as very rare books, some indeed as single copies. The British Museum has some of them, others are in Oxford and Cambridge.

Father got quite a thrill out of sending me off on my Grand Tour, and he went to great pains to ensure that my visit would be a success. I went armed with letters of introduction to David Rogers of the British Museum, Fr. Basil Fitzgibbon of farm St.,and the library authorities in Oxford, He wrote beforehand to the Holy Child Sisters in Cherwell Edge, Oxford, where he knew some of the Sisters - his own sister had been a member of the congregation - and enjoyed their hospitality while I was in Oxford.

Of course, I fell in love with Oxford, as he intended me to, and he listened with happy amusement, as I shared my excitement with him on my return. This happened more than thirty years ago, in November December, 1950, yet it is still vivid in my memory. There was I, a young inexperienced person, given a welcome into the fellowship of scholars, and accepted as one of themselves. Ah, the daring and courage of youth!

Thinking back over all this, I believe I have hit on something very basic to. Fr. Gwynn's character, and very important: he helped people to grow. His own standards were high, and he helped others to live up to their highest potential, to a potential they weren't aware of until he pointed it out.

He was, too, a man of great patience and kindness. I'm sure a scholar of his calibre must have had to make many adjustments in trying to understand us young students. But his kindness bridged all distances. He had a genuine respect for others, and he paid: tribute to any gifts a person had, even if still in the bud!

It wasn't all an academic interchange. He had a puckish sense of humour, and those eyes could twinkle even over such daily dilemmas as “the problem of toast and butter: If I take more toast, I'll need another butter-roll, and if I take another butter-roll I'll need more toast to finish it!” At breakfast, one morning in our basement dining-room, I heard my gong ring upstairs. When I emerged at the top of the stairs, there was Fr. Gwynn, with a quizzical look on his face, saying: “How do you expect a fellow to eat his porridge without a spoon?” I had brought him in his breakfas. “You'd better stick to the History!”

Another time - I think it was when I was about to leave on my Oxbridge adventure - Fr Gwynn told me to kneel down for his blessing. Then, as I got up off my knees, he chuckled and told an anecdote about some Irish bishop, who was reputed to have said to his priests: “How did I get this cross on me belly? ... HARD WORRUK, YOUNG MEN, HARD WORRUK!” And he acted it out, standing tall and sticking out his chest.

He had a delightful sense of humour. I wish I could recall other incidents. I remember a letter he wrote shortly after he retired from UCD. He had been offered a chair of Philosophy (or History) in Milltown Park, he said, only to discover it was a sofa he had to share it with Fr. John Ryan!

It was while I was a student in Merrion Square that his father died. In fact, I answered his phone-call telling us the news. His father had been failing for some time - he lived to be a great age - and all the time Fr. Gwynn kept hoping that his father might be given the gift of faith before death. That did not happen I can recall the grief in his voice that morning over the phone. Later he described the funeral for us, saying how strange it felt to be an outsider at one's own father's funeral. As far as I remember, a dispensation had to be got from the Archbishop of Dublin, so that he could attend and, at the graveside, it was the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin who officiated and blessed the remains, while Stephen Gwynn's priest-son stood apart, on the fringe.

The faith; not given to his father, was very precious to him. In those years immediately after his retirement from UCD he got joy and great fulfilment from instructing some young. TCD students, converts to Catholicism. He referred to this in a number of letters written in those years.

It was in such things, and at such times, that the quality of his own spirituality shone through. It was never obtrusive. Yet, when he sensed that a person was anxious, or that obedience was hard, he knew how to say the right thing, or do just what was needed, tactfully, with gentleness and good hunour. He seemed to have a great, yet sensibly balanced, respect for obedience. But it was
his kindness and compassion, a compassion learned through his own suffering, that made him the person he was for others. There was always that the feeling that he too had been through it all.

He was a marvellous person to give anything to. He received as graciously as he gave, and never took a gift for granted. About two years ago I had a letter from him, thanking.me for the gift of a book on Philippine culture. Actually I hadn't been the person who sent it, but I had talked about him to someone who sent him the book as a result of our conversation - Fr. Miguel Bernad, SJ.

During all my years in the Philippines we corresponded a few times each year. Then, while I was in Ireland, from 1970 to 1979 I met him many times, mostly in Milltown Park, but once in the University club. On that last occasion we walked across St. Stephen's Green together - just imagine that!

There were times, too, when I went over to Milltown Park, only to learn that Fr, Gwynn wasn't well and couldn't see visitors. Then I knew that my old friend was deep into one of his bouts of severe depression, and I suffered with him. That finely-honed, brilliant mind, and yet the dark shadow of depression that hung over him so often ...

The last time I saw him, before I left for the Philippines in 1980, he was in great form, and he took some mischievous delight in my reaction to his beard. When I remarked that he looked the spit image of George Bernard Shaw, he said, “Sister Helen (he liked to call me by my old name), I would expect more originality from you!” Then he told me about all the other people who had made the same comparison, including a lorry-driver who had stopped beside him on the road and called out, “I thought Bernard Shaw was dead!” He was really enjoying his masquerade.

In his last letters to me, he told me about his latest and dearest research, the paper he was requested to write for the Royal Irish Academy, on the Mass in Ireland in the early Middle Ages. Much of it was based on a missal that had come to light in recent times. (Am I right?) He spoke of this paper with warmth and enthusiasm, as being the culmination of his life-work. I do hope that his failing eye-sight allowed him to finish this work, so dear to his heart.

I marvel at the courage of this man who, even at the age of ninety, was still using to the full those rare gifts God had given him, and sharing with us the fruits of his long years of reflection and study. I do not know now he died. I hope that his mental faculties were as sharp as ever. It would be poignantly sad if such a brilliant mind were dulled.

I thank God for the gift of this most dear friend, and for all that he has been to all the Columban Sisters.: His death is a personal loss for me. I miss him very deeply.

Gwynn, William, 1865-1950, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1397
  • Person
  • 17 March 1865-22 October 1950

Born: 17 March 1865, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1883, Milltown Park Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 29 July 1900, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 22 October 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

First World War Chaplain

Older brother of John - RIP 1915

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1890 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia 1902
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 8th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway. Gwynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 20 October 1883, and studied rhetoric as a junior up to II Arts at the Royal University while living at Milltown Park, 1885-87. Philosophy was at Louvain and Exaeten. 1887-90, and regency at Belvedere Clongowes, and Mungret, 1890-97. Theology followed at Milltown Park. 1897-1901 After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John, Gwynn, he was sent to Australia where he taught at Riverview, St Aloysius' College and St Patrick's College, 1902-11, before engaging in parish ministry at Sevenhill, 1911-13, and Norwood 1913-17. He taught for a further few years at St Patrick’s College 1917-18, before becoming a military chaplain of the 8th Infantry Brigade AIF, 1918-20, travelling to Egypt, France and Germany. Gwynn returned to Ireland after the war and taught philosophy and mathematics at Mungret. He was later in charge of the People's Church at Clongowes until 1930, and then performed rural missionary work retreats with great vigor and success throughout the country, a ministry he enjoyed while in Australia. In 1930 he was transferred to parish work at Gardiner Street until 1944. In earlier he was in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, living in great cheer and contentment, praying for the Society.
The Irish Province News, January 1951, described Gwynn as an original character. In whatever company he found himself he became the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects. At first sight, he might have been seen as egotistical or cynical or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humor and a pose, it helped to make him interesting and to amuse. He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, every day work. He wanted change and variety. He liked to plough a lonely furrow a man of original mind, who had his very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher - appearance, voice, personality, an original approach to any subject, and a gift for a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats were memorable for their freshness and originality. As a confessor some respected him for being broad, sympathetic and understanding.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 1 1951

Milltown Park :
We regret to record the death, on. Oct. 22nd, of Milltown's Grand Old Man, Father William Gwynn. Only a few days before we had celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood and heard a message from him, wire-recorded in his sickroom.

Obituary :
Father William Gwynn
Fr. Gwynn, who died after a brief illness at Milltown Park on 22nd October, was born at Youghal, Co. Cork, on the 17th March, 1865. His father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. So, it was at St. Ignatius' College in that city that they both received their education. William entered the noviceship at Milltown Park on 20th October, 1883, and had Fr. William O’Farrell for Master of Novices and also for Superior when the new novitiate at Dromore was opened in May of the following year. He took his Vows at Milltown Park on 1st November, 1885, and studied rhetoric up to II Arts at the Royal University. He went to Louvain and Exaten (in Holland) for his philosophy, 1887-90, and in the latter year began his Colleges. He taught for six years at Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret, in that order, and then studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin. After his fourth year's theology he went, with his brother Fr. John, to Linz in Austria for his tertianship. In the autumn of 1902 Fr, William was sent to Australia, where he taught at Riverview, Sydney, for a year and then at St. Aloysius for six and at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, for two years. He was operarius at Sevenhill 1910-12 and at Norwood Residence for the following four years when he had charge of the men's sodality and the confraternity of “Bona Mors”. When at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, as master and operarius in 1918, he was appointed chaplain to the 8th Australian Infantry Brigade and travelled with his men to Egypt, France and Germany. He was not “demobbed” till 1920, and thereafter remained in the Province. For the next two years Fr. Gwynn was philosophy and mathematics master at Mungret College and then went to Clongowes, where he had charge of the People's Church till 1930. During this period he conducted retreats with great vigour and success up and down the country, a ministry to which he had devoted himself zealously when in Australia.
In 1930 Fr. William was transferred to Gardiner Street and was operarius till 1944. For the first dozen years of this period he was also in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality, in which he took a great interest. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, where he lived in great cheer and contentment, discharging his task of “orans pro Societate” agreeably and, we may well hope, fruitfully. Two days before his death a graceful tribute to him appeared in the papers on the occasion of the golden jubilee of his Ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Gwynn was emphatically a character, an original. In whatever company he found himself, he became at once the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects, about those little manifestations of self-interest which most people keep discreetly veiled. He was equally frank and outspoken about others. At first sight, one would think him egotistical, or cynical, or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humour and a pose. It helped to make him interesting and to amuse.
He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, hum-drum, every clay work. He wanted change and variety; lie liked to plough a lonely furrow. He was a man of original mind, who had his own very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher, appearance, voice, personality, a very original approach to any subject, and a gift of a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats, too, very memorable for their freshness and originality.
He was the least pharisaical of men. He aimed sedulously at concealing his solid piety and simple lively Faith. His rather disconcerting frankness, his trenchant wit, his talk about himself, were really a pose by which he tried to mask his spiritual inner self. It could not be said that he had a large spiritual following of people who looked to him for help. But what he missed in numbers was made up in quality and variety. It was well known that men of the world who got no help from other priests made Fr. Gwynn their confessor and friend. He was broad, sympathetic and understanding and no one knows the amount of good he did to those who came to depend on him. R.I.P

Hackett, William, 1878-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/171
  • Person
  • 02 May 1878-09 July 1954

Born: 02 May 1878, Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 July 1954, Belloc House, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne
Hackett, William Philip (1878–1954)
by James Griffin
James Griffin, 'Hackett, William Philip (1878–1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hackett-william-philip-6515/text11183, published first in hardcopy 1983

Catholic priest; radio religious broadcaster; schoolteacher

Died : 9 July 1954, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

William Philip Hackett (1878-1954), priest, teacher and propagandist, was born on 2 May 1878 at Kilkenny, Ireland, son of John Byrene Hackett, medical practitioner, and his wife Bridget, née Doheny. The Hacketts, a family of writers and bibliophiles, could trace their Irish patriotism to the battle of the Boyne (1690). Educated at St Stanislaus, Tullamore and Clongowes Wood colleges, William entered the Society of Jesus in 1896 and studied in France and Holland where he found his 'nerves' intolerable and theology intractable. He taught at Clongowes for six years and, after ordination in 1912, at Crescent College, Limerick, for nine. His friendship with participants such as Eamon de Valera in the 1916 rebellion, his republicanism and ardent loquacity influenced his removal in 1922 to Australia.

After teaching in Sydney at St Aloysius College and then in Melbourne at Xavier College, he was appointed parish priest of St Ignatius, Richmond, in 1925. Meanwhile his reputation for Irish patriotism, scholarship and energy had endeared him to Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who encouraged him to found the Central Catholic Library. It opened in May 1924 and by 1937 more than 2000 borrowers had access to about 60,000 books. Hackett's axiom was: 'a country that does not read does not develop; a community without spiritual ideas cannot survive'. Though he lacked business or administrative sense, he triumphed over financial problems owing to his humorous and courtly personality, and a showmanship backed by a wide-ranging acquaintance with literature. The library became a centre for discussion groups of graduates of Catholic secondary schools and at Newman College, University of Melbourne. Hackett fostered the emergence of an intelligentsia in the Campion Society, founded in 1931. As chaplain he took a heuristic line; laymen, he felt obliged to say, were not the clergy's inferiors.

Appalled by the Depression and the growth of communism, he helped to launch the influential Sunday Catholic Hour broadcast (3AW) in 1932 and was a frequent commentator; he watched over the foundation of the monthly Catholic Worker in 1936 and the national secretariat of Catholic Action in 1937 of which he became ecclesiastical assistant from 1943. While condemning both Nazis and Spanish socialists and extolling constitutional freedoms, he praised the pro-family and anti-communist policies of Fascist regimes. He helped to foster the Catholic Women's Social Guild, addressed the inaugural meeting of the Australian section of St Joan's International Alliance and supported the innovation of the Grail lay female institute.

Hackett's zeal did not make him generally popular during his rectorship of Xavier College in 1935-40. He ridiculed the emphasis on competitive sport (though he enjoyed vigorous bush-walking), joked about social committees, caused resignations from the Old Xaverians' Association by putting liturgical study groups before conviviality and, forming an elite student Catholic Action group, invited Campions to inspire students to reform capitalism as well as fight communism. In spite of a huge school debt he responded to Mannix's urging to found a second preparatory school, Kostka Hall, in Brighton and was held responsible for a later cheap sale of choice Xavier land to clear liabilities. His concern was less with curriculum and instruction than with activities such as the revival of the cadet corps. He farewelled the class in 1939: 'Keep fit. Don't grumble. Shoot straight. Pray hard'.

This militancy, and a vein of conspiracy, flowed through his later years. His health had been precarious: in the early 1940s he was confined to light parish work and from 1943 counselling at Xavier, then from 1948 at Kostka Hall. In 1952, however, he was appointed first superior of the pro-'Movement' Institute of Social Order. He wrote a pamphlet Why Catholic Action? in 1949, itemising its official bodies but failing to mention 'the Movement'. He voted for the Communist Party dissolution bill of 1951, admired John Wren's simple faith and marvelled at his ill-repute. He was a founder of the Aisling Society which propagated Irish culture, and he had a special knowledge of illuminated manuscripts. In 1942 he became a trustee of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria.

Obliged as a confidant to consult with and entertain Mannix on Monday evenings and to accompany him on his annual vacations at Portsea, Hackett appeared to relish both these privileges and the role of court jester but his letters show he disliked being 'a quasi-episcopal hanger-on'. A man of 'gasps, grunts and angular gestures', he was a facile butt for Mannix's friendly if sharp jibes, but he was revered by Catholic intellectuals for his kindliness, enthusiastic piety, scrupulous poverty and scattered erudition. He boasted of his schooldays acquaintance with James Joyce and then castigated himself in private for such vanity. On retreat he complained of spiritual emptiness, occasionally scourged himself lightly but wondered if this were not self-indulgence. A feckless jay-walker, he died on 9 July 1954, a week after being hit by a car on a rainy Melbourne night. He was wearing a penitential hair shirt. In his panegyric Mannix called Hackett the founder of Catholic Action in Australia, praised his vibrant humour and said he was the humblest man he had ever known. He was buried in Boroondara cemetery.

Select Bibliography
G. Dening, Xavier (Melb, 1978)
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Catholic Worker, Aug 1954
Irish Province News (Dublin), Oct 1954
Xavier College, Xaverian, 1954
Herald (Melbourne), 28 Jan, 4 Feb 1935
Argus (Melbourne), 10 July 1954
Advocate (Melbourne), 15 July 1954
C. H. Jory, The Campion Era: The Development of Catholic Social Idealism in Australia (M.A. thesis, Australian National University, 1974)
Hackett papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne)
private information.

Note from Jeremiah M Murphy Entry
With another Kilkenny Jesuit, W. P. Hackett, he became confidant and adviser to Archbishop Mannix; this influence may explain what was, for his Order, an unusually long rectorship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Hackett came from a large family in Kilkenny. His father, a doctor, was a friend of Charles Stewart Parnell who had been in trouble with the Irish clergy for his radical politics. Together with his five brothers, William was given a free education at Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, 7 September 1895, studied philosophy at Vals, France, and taught at Clongowes, 1902-09. After theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1909-13, he taught at Belvedere College, Dublin, until 1922, when he was sent to Australia.
He performed parish duties at Richmond, Melbourne, 1924-34. From 1934-40 he was rector of Xavier College, Kew, founding Kostka Hall, Brighton, in 1936. Work in the Hawthorn parish followed, 1940-42.
From 1943-52 he lived at Xavier College and Kostka Hall, but his main work was as founding Director of the Central Catholic Library, which began it 1925. This locale became the meeting place for those associated with the “Catholic Worker”, a newspaper founded in 1936 influenced by the social teaching of the Church, especially “Rerum Novarum” of Leo XIII, and campaigned for the rights of workers. Hackett became the ecclesiastical assistant to the Secretariat for “Catholic Action” and the “Movement” in those years, roles that meant attendance at meetings, and advice given to those who sought it, but an appointment that never implied clerical control. Later, Hackett was elected a trustee of the Melbourne Public Library and National Gallery in 1942, and also became a foundation member of the “Aisling Society”, an Irish Australian cultural society whose main interests were the study of the history, life and culture of Ireland, and of the effect of Irish heritage on Australian life.
A lecturer and writer on a wide variety of subjects, Hackett contributed to “Studies”, “The Irish Ecclesiastical Record”, “Twentieth Century”, the “Advocate”, and other periodicals. He became Director of the Institute of Social Order at Belloc House, 1952-54, which was established by Archbishop Mannix as a centre for the education of trade unionists. Not only was it a place for training Bob Santamaria's Movement personnel, but also for anyone interested in exploring Catholic teaching on social justice. Hackett living at Belloc House meant that he became an important observer of Movement activities for the archbishop. Unfortunately, he had a sad end, dying ten days after being hit by a taxi crossing Cotham Road on a dark rainy night. At his funeral Mannix spoke fondly of his friend of 30 years. It was a sad loss to Mannix.
Oral history has perpetuated the myth that Hackett was deeply involved with the Republican faction in Ireland that led to the civil war in 1922. He was a friend of Erskine Childers who was later executed, and Michael Collins who was later murdered. Irish Jesuits claimed he would have been imprisoned for activities that included being a courier for an illegal news sheet edited by the rebels, as well as hearing confessions of “irregulars”. It was said that these were some reasons for his move to Australia. All through his life he kept correspondence with former Irish colleagues, usually writing in Gaelic. It was these activities in Ireland that drew him towards the archbishop of Melbourne, who also kept a close watch on political activities in Ireland.
A close personal friendship wide Dr Mannix developed, with Hackett becoming his companion every Monday evening at Rahel, the archbishop's residence, during which he reported to the Archbishop any news, local or from Ireland, from the previous week. Hackett's companionship at Raheen with the archbishop became particularly important when Mannix entertained some important dignitary. Mannix did not like to be alone with such people, and relied upon Hackett’s charm and wit to help entertain his guest. This companionship also extended to accompanying the Archbishop during his four week annual summer vacation at Portsea that in later years stretched to seven weeks, a task that did not bring cheer to Hackett. Brenda Niall in her biography wrote of Hackett that he “was the diplomat, mediator, envoy, entertainer and candid friend to the archbishop”, as “an essential link between Mannix and a new generation of intellectuals” that met at the Central Catholic Library This resulted in Hackett becoming the principal adviser to Frank Maher in founding the Campion Society the real beginning of lay Catholic Action in Australia.
Hackett was delighted when appointed rector of Xavier College, but others were not so pleased either at the beginning or at the end of the appointment. He was assigned probably because of his high degree of personal charisma and apostolic zeal.
During the course of his five years as rector, Hackett presided over the the disenchantment of teachers, parents and Old Boys, as well as the entrenchment of the school in the position of financial insolvency which he had inherited in the wake of the Great Depression. In fact, the school probably needed a man of less vision: a man focused on problem solving. His vision for Xavier was the personal formation of a Catholic intelligentsia for the purpose of rescuing the nation from the encroaching forces of evil, of which he was acutely conscious. He wanted the boys to assimilate Catholic social principles.
The intellectual and physical formation of his Volunteer Cadet Corps formed the essence of his initiative as rector of Xavier College. He was disappointed that Xavier College was not
producing more political and cultural leaders. He was aware that most Xavier boys preferred a career in medicine. law or business. Xavier's ends, Hackett insisted, were not his own but those of society in general, and the Church in particular. He singled out the Old Xaverian Association for criticism, suggesting that they should involve themselves in Catholic Action, and not just in sport and social activities.
His general lack of reverence for the traditions they valued manifested itself in particular actions such as his interference with the membership qualifications of their sporting teams, and his uncritical application of a directive of Mannix banning the serving of liquor at Catholic social functions. This last action was instrumental in dividing the organisation, rendering it virtually inoperative for several.
Hackett had a vision of intellectual Christianity for the school, and his spirituality demanded strength not of performance, but of mind. He established the Bellarmine Society, a junior Campion Society in which the students were given an intellectual introduction to modern sociological trends and to Catholic culture. The subordination of free logical thought to ideology or rules was unacceptable to him He scorned unthinking observance of positive laws, and did his best to ensure that responsibility was the keynote when it came to the observance of rules and regulations at Xavier. He even allowed senior boys to smoke on certain occasions.
His interest in debating was strong, and he introduced the Oxford Union or Parliamentary form. His primary concern was in fostering the art of public speaking rather than the
dialectic itself.
Preferring a spirit of truth to a spirit of competition, Hackett ridiculed emphasis on competitive sport and disputed the identification of good education with good examination results. He believed education had little to do with passing exams, and occurred, more often than not, outside the classroom. It was a luxury that involved financial cost and sacrifice, and was available only to the privileged, even if it was intended to benefit the whole of society. He frequently annoyed prefects of studies when he displayed a lack of deference for formal studies. He thought little of abandoning his own classes or taking students out of other classes, for purposes which he - but clearly not many of his colleagues - thought were more important.
His emphasis on responsibility was a manifestation of Hackett's adventurous bent of character, an attribute that did not lend itself to skill in administration. He had an enquiring mind, exotic taste, and often curious judgment. He managed to endear himself to many people in the school, even some of those with whom he clashed. And he was also a favorite of the
other heads of the Public Schools, who could appreciate his personal qualities, including his sense of humour and breadth of interest, without having to work under his less than efficient administration.
His adventures with his senior boys were not exclusively intellectual. Fond of bushwalking himself, he would take them on expeditions into the country, and occasionally camping, on the South Coast of New South Wales. He enjoyed the company of the boys, and they appreciated his humour, his lively mind, and unexpected comments. They respected him, but did not hold him in awe. He sent boys to Somers Camp to know those from other schools and to learn from different walks of life.
His financial administration was not successful and it was apparent that by the end of his term as rector he was out of place at Xavier College. He was certainly visionary, hut this was not needed at the time.
As a man and priest, he was always most courteous and showed genuine charity to all people. He was a man of deep and wide learning, but also had intelligence and sensibility, an artist as well as a scholar. He was a man of action. Besides founding the Catholic Library, he established in connection with it the “Catholic Evidence Lectures”, which later grew into the radio “Catholic Hour”. He also helped with the National Catholic Girls' Movement. With all these activities, he was most unassuming and kind, and he was noted for his exemplary example of personal poverty. He was certainly one of the more influential Jesuits who worked in Australia.

Note from John Phillips Entry
In 1954 Phillips was asked to take over the Catholic Central Library after the death of William Hackett.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 4 1927

Australia :
The Central Catholic Library, started by Fr. Hackett, is going strong. The new catalogue shows that it already contains 5,000 volumes with a yearly circulation of about 10,000. The Third series of lectures “The Renaissance” organised in connection with the Library, are proving a great success. Count O'Loghlen gave Fr. Hackett more than £500 for the Library. Both Count and Father are connected with Kilkenny.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 2 1931

Australia :

The following is an extract from a letter from the brother of the Australian Attorney-General, the Hon, Frank Brenman M. P. The writer is a leading solicitor in Melbourne :
“As I have just returned from a visit to Fr. Hackett at St. Evin's hospital I may say something about his recovery which will rank with anything you may have heard or seen at Lourdes.
Fr. Hackett had been consuming for several weeks certain tablets prescribed for rheumatism, when suddenly he broke down.These tablets were meant to be taken only for a time and then discontinued. It was now discovered that the tablets had been absorbed into his system, and were actually destroying the organs, especially the liver. Towards the end of August, I think it was, he was hovering at death's door, and the doctors pronounced the case to be absoluted beyond hope. On the last Friday of the month, at Benediction, Fr. Boylan S. J., who was taking Fr. Hackett's place, turned round and asked us to offer prayers for Fr. Hackett, as word had just come from the hospital that he was sinking rapidly and could not live through the night.
Next morning, Fr. Hackett, who was to have died during the night, called for that days' newspapers, presumably to read his own obituary notice. What had happened?
During the previous week Heaven's Gates had been stormed, and Prayers were offered up in every Church and in every convent for Fr, Hackett’a recovery. For that intention the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament offered up a special novena, and on the last day their church was packed to the doors. Their founder is on the way to canonization, and the Fathers were anxious to have as many genuine miracles as possible. They took up a relic to the hospital, started their novena, and from the first were full of confidence. This confidence was not shared by everyone. A very shrewd, level headed Jesuit put his view of the matter in this form : “Miracle or no miracle Fr. Hackett cannot live.” 1 the other hand, it was said that a certain nun received sufficient assurance to declare that he would live. During it all (as Fr. Boylan put. it) in Fr Hackett preserved an even keel. He desired neither to live nor to die, but to accept with resignation whatever was his lot,
For a week he continued to make excellent progress, but then one night the said to his medical attendant : “Doctor when this thing was attacking every organ did it attack my throat at all?” The doctor said “no, but why do you ask the question?” “Because I have a nasty feeling in my throat” was the answer. The doctor examined and drew back in horror. The throat
was gangrenous, highly infectious, and must have a fatal result.
Hopes were dashed, a miracle was denied them, and the faith of the people was to be tried more than ever.
The nun-sister in charge was told that the end was in sight, that death would now come quickly and naturally. She listened and at once made up her mind to take a course not usual in hospitals. She took a small paper medal of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, dissolved it in a glass of water and gave it to the patient to drink. Next morning all signs of infection had disappeared, nor have they been felt or heard of since”
Shortly afterwards Fr. Hackett took a trip to Queensland to give the liver which, it was said, had been dissolved out of the system, a chance to grow again.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :

The news of the tragic death of Fr. Hackett, as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident in Kew, Melbourne, on the First Friday of July, caused a profound shock to his many friends in both the Irish and the Australian Provinces.
Fr. Hackett was a native of Kilkenny, where he was born in 1878, son of the late Mr. John Byrne Hackett, M.D. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1895. He went to Vals, France, for his philosophical studies and was a master in Clongowes from 1902 to 1909. He studied his theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1912.
Fr. Hackett completed his religious training at St. Stanislaus' College in 1914, and was then appointed to the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, until 1922, when he went to Melbourne. He was master first at Xavier College, then Assistant Superior of the Richmond Parish of St. Ignatius. He was appointed Rector of Xavier College in 1934, a post he held till 1940. It was during that period that he founded the college preparatory school at Brighton in 1937. He founded and directed for many years the Central Catholic Library, which was modelled on the Dublin library of the same name. Fr. Hackett was a brother of Mr. Francis Hackett, author and historian, and of Miss Florence Hackett, playwright; he was also an intimate friend of the Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Rev. Dr. Mannix, and usually spent holidays with him at Queenscliff.
From the above brief record of the life and work of Fr. Hackett it is difficult, after the lapse of more than thirty years since he left his native land never to return, to give an adequate account of the great work he accomplished for God, the Society and Ireland during the early active years of his apostolate at home.
But we, his near contemporaries, have no difficulty in giving at least an estimate of his personality as it stands out in all its freshness in our minds today after the lapse of a generation. To us he was the living embodiment of the young man in the Gospel as he asked Christ : “What is yet wanting to me? What else shall I do?” The dominant note in his character was an unceasing, an almost restless desire and striving to do “something extra” for God, to be engaged in some work of super-erogation, especially if it was a matter of “overtime charity” for one of his own community. If there was a sick member of the community who needed special attention, it was invariably Fr. Hackett who supplied the need. If there was an extra class to be taken at a moment's notice, it was always Fr. Hackett who filled the gap.
With externs also it was the same story : if there was an accident down the street in Limerick, the odds were that the priest rendering first aid was Father Hackett. If an unruly group of schoolboys were threatening to disturb the peace of Clongowes, you could take it for granted that order would be restored as soon as Fr. Hackett appeared on the scene.
His room (like that of other restless workers for God) was more like a general stores than a human habitation : lantern-slides, photo plates, weather-charts, directories and catalogues, &c., &c., but always near the door the prie-dieu “cleared for action”, proclaimed a man who, in spite of all his activities, lived a deep interior life, hidden with Christ in God.
In 1922, Father Hackett was sent to Australia. It was the transition period in Ireland, the epoch that followed the “Four Glorious Years” and culminated in the establishment of the “Free State”. Son of a Parnellite father, Fr. Hackett, like his great friend Archbishop Mannix, was a patriot in the best sense of the word. To leave his native land forever entailed for him a pang, the keenness of which was known only to his most intimate friends; yet at the command of Obedience he was as ready to go to Alaska or the Fiji Islands, had he been ordered to do so, as he was to go to Australia.
His career in the land of his adoption, of which we have given a brief summary above, followed the same pattern as in Ireland. Always with him it was a case of : “What else is wanting to me ? What more shall I do?” In addition to his already well-filled round of duties, his laborious days and often laborious nights as well in the work of the Ministry and the schoolroom, he undertook further tasks in the form of super-erogation. We have only space to enumerate the principal ones among them :
Thirty years ago, a few years after his arrival in Australia, he founded the Central Catholic Library in Collins St. It now contains 81,000 books, a notable monument to the untiring zeal of its zealous founder. His intellectual interests covered an even wider field and in 1942 he was made trustee of the Public Library and National Gallery.
Fr. Hackett spent about twelve years as Spiritual Director of Catholic Action in Australia. For the past few years he taught Social Science at Belloc House, Sackville St., Kew. His diamond jubilee in the Society was due to take place next year. We can well imagine how he would have replied to any eulogies pronounced on him : “Si adhuc sum pecessarius, non recusabo laborem”.
Perhaps we cannot conclude this brief obituary notice of Fr. Hackett more suitably than by citing a few of the tributes that have been paid to him and that have reached us from Australia since his recent lamented death :
Miss C. Misell, head librarian of the Central Catholic Library, said : “I worked with Father Hackett for twelve years. He was a wonderful man with a great sense of humour. He was a real mine of information on literature”.
Mr. C. A. McCallum, Chief Librarian, said: “We shall miss his charming personality, his great friendliness and his delightful. puckish sense of humour. He was an authority on the most famous of the Irish manuscripts, the Book of Kells, dating back to the year 800”.
Father J. R. Boylen, Rector of Xavier College, Kew, said : “Father Hackett had a great variety of friends, both rich and poor. He was beloved by students at Xavier and the University and helped many in their careers. His death is a very great loss. He stimulated many Catholic activities with his infectious zeal”.
Father Austin Kelly, Provincial of Australia, said: “We shall miss Father Hackett in a hundred ways; he was as full of life and fun and zest as ever. We buried him yesterday (12 July) with great ceremony, two Archbishops and two Bishops being present at the Requiem, and a very large and representative concourse of people. Archbishop Mannix preached a beautiful panegyric over his dearest friend”.
An extract from the panegyric will show how highly the Archbishop estimated his friend :
“But the greatest achievement of Father Hackett - and his achievements were many - was, in my opinion, that he laid the foundations of the Lay Apostolate of Catholic Action in Australia. That may seem a startling statement, but it is well founded. A quarter of a century ago, Father Hackett, with wisdom and foresight, establisbed the Central Catholic Library, and the young people who availed themselves of that Library were those who made it possible to start the Lay Apostolate in Melbourne and afterwards throughout the whole of Australia. That Library, I hope, will remain as a monument to Father Hackett. At the moment, the Central Catholic Library is, I think, without an equal of its kind in Australia or probably elsewhere. It was Father Hackett's foresight and his courage that established the Library and kept it going. He was always in debt, but he never faltered and the Library now has probably 40,000 or 50,000 volumes that stand to the credit of Father Hackett.
With all his work he was before all things a man of God, a man of deep faith and deep spirituality, who attracted many to seek his advice and direction. They were never disappointed. In spite of all his achievements, Father Hackett was the humblest man that I have known. I can speak from knowledge, because I knew him well. He was so humble that he never seemed to realise his own power or his achievements. He had a most attractive side of his character wish we all had it - he was able to laugh at himself. That is a great thing for any man to be able to do. He was probably too honest to be always supremely tactful, but his humour and his humility covered over any lapses from convention that he may have had. Father Hackett has gone. His place will be supplied, but I doubt if it can be filled. He was a man of God, truly unselfish, all things to all men. We shall miss him sorely, but he has gone to his Master with a splendid record of work in Ireland and in Australia. He traded with the ten talents that his Master gave him, and I am confident that he has entered into his rest. In the name of this great congregation and of all those who grieve with us for Father Hackett, I bid a fond and sad but proud farewell to this great Irish Jesuit priest”.
Ar dheis Dé, i measg fíor-laoch na h-Éireann, go raibh a anam, agus go dtugaidh Dia suaimhneas agus síothcháin do ar feadh na síorruidheachta.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Hackett 1878-1954
When people enquire after you twenty years after you have left a place, that’s a sure sign of a remarkable personality. So it was with Fr William Hackett. Many, many years after he left Limerick, people used still ask for him.

He came originally from Kilkenny, being born there in 1878, of a family distinguished in letters. His brother, Francis Hackett, was an author and historian, and his sister Florence a playwright.

In 1922 Fr Hackett was sent to Australia. It was a bitter wrench for him because he loved Ireland and everything Irish with an intensity, only excelled by his love of God and the Catholic faith. However he took the land of his adoption to his heart.

He was six years Rector of Xavier College during which time he founded the preparatory school at Brighton in 1937. He founded the Central Catholic Library in Melbourne, and also laid the foundation of the Lay Apostolate of Catholic Action in Australia. No mean achievements, and yet the give quite an inadequate view of the man.

He was a human dynamo of spiritual energy, ever on the go working for God and souls. Perhaps the greatest tribute to his character is the fact that he was the long and intimate friend of one of the greatest men of his time in Australia, Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne.

He died as a result of an accident on July 5th 1954.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 36 : February 1985

‘TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE

Francis J Dennett

The archivist of the Australian Province gives a fascinating account of the involvement of an Irish Jesuit in the Anglo-Irish War and in the Irish Civil War. Michael Collins is reputed to have said that “Father William Hackett was worth five hundred men to the Irish cause”.

For the title of this article I have stolen the sub-title which Walter Scott gave to Waverley, his novel about the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. It is now rather more than sixty years since the start of that complicated struggle, which the Irish very aptly term “The Troubles”, and in which Fr William Hackett became so deeply entangled that he had to be forcibly cut loose by being sent to the antipodes.

Scott felt compelled to write Waverley before all living memory of the Forty-Five had vanished, and I feel something of the same compulsion, for Fr. Hackett's part in the events of 1914-22 is becoming vague and distorted. Mr. B.A. Santamaria, for instance, writes in Against the Tide that Fr. Hackett “had left Ireland ‘for his country's good’, his close association with supporters of Michael Collins during the Civil War making continued residence in Ireland impossible”.

When I read this (which is very nearly the opposite of the truth), I thought that I must do something to set the record straight. Ill-qualified as I am to write on the matter, there are materials in our Australian archives which make possible an (at any rate) not-misleading reconstruction of Fr. Hackett's career as an Irish revolutionary, and this is what I have attempted. It has its importance; for no one can understand Fr. Hackett without understanding what was, after the Society of Jesus, the deepest influence in his life.

Annamoe, in County Wicklow, was the seat of the Barton family. The Bartons, Anglo-Irish and Protestant, had been landlords thereabouts for generations; by 1914 most of their land had been acquired under the Lands Acts by the former tenants; only the home farm, of a few hundred acres, remained Barton property. During the Troubles it was being farmed by Robert Barton.

Bob Barton, unmarried, lived there with his sister and his younger cousin, David Robinson; from time to time he was visited by another cousin, Erskine Childers, whose wife and two small sons, Erskine and Bobby, were also living at Annamoe. A quiet Anglo-Irish Protestant household, you would think. But Bob Barton was a Gaelic Leaguer and a Sinn Féiner, and an elected member of Dáil Eireann, the illegal parliament which in 1919 proclaimed itself the parliament of the Republic of Ireland and organized a clandestine provisional government and a national army (the first IRA); Erskine Childers was the co-ordinator of the IRA for southern Ireland; and Annamoe was the centre of a web of communications that ran from Dublin to Waterford and Cork and Kerry and Tipperary and Kilkenny and Limerick. The British eventually got round to arresting Barton when he was in Dublin as a member of the Dáil; I don't think they ever suspected Annamoe.

In 1920-22 Bob Barton's and Erskine Childers' visitors generally chose to come this way. In particular, a black-coated cyclist might have been seen fairly frequently, had there been anyone to see, pushing his way over the Featherbed and through Sally Gap. Dublin Castle would have paid good money for the papers in his saddlebag. But who would have suspected a bespectacled cleric toiling through the hills? At any rate, Fr. William Hackett was never stopped, either going to or coming from Annamoe.

Unfortunately I do not know just when or how Fr. Hackett made friends with the Barton or Childers families - but it must have been well before the Troubles. I imagine it was through the Gaelic League, of which they were all enthusiastic supporters, and possibly when he was a theologian at Milltown in 1909-13 and used to spend the Villa at Greystones on the Wicklow coast. What is quite clear is that a very close friendship sprang up between them, and especially between Hackett and Childers and young Erskine (”Erskine Óg”, as they called him). Perhaps I can best make this clear by quoting from a letter written by Barton to Hackett in 1923, when the tragedy was all over and Hackett was in Australia :

“I was released at Xmas and am nearly well again... Gaol begins to tell on one after you reach the age of 40... David (Robinson) was released 3 weeks ago... He did 42 days hungerstrike and was beaten and kicked about a good deal... The mountains are just as glorious. Sally Gap is still the same great melancholy friend. I drove over it not long ago and sent a few words of affection to you as I passed its crossroads. Do you remember the day you came to see us and lost your hat? Some day we shall do the journey again together... The next generation, seeing everything in perspective, will be able to love all Ireland and all Irishmen as we did. I send you all the beauty and love of the mountains as well as my own great affection. R.B.”

And again in 1931:

“You were always so fresh and enthusiastic after your ride across Sally Gap. When will you return again to talk over many things with Erskine, David and myself? There is no other priest living with whom we can talk absolutely freely and without offence, or Protestant clergyman either if it comes to that. And, re Erskine Óg, I think you would love this boy even more than you did when you used to take him out walking”.

Fr. Hackett's part in the Irish struggle cannot be understood apart from his special relationship with this little group - it was typical of his large-heartedness that it should be an Anglo-Irish and non-Catholic enclave in the Sinn Féin movement. He admired de Valera, but was never specially close to him, still less to Arthur Griffith or Michael Collins or the other IRB men; though of course till the Treaty they all worked and fought together,

Fr. Hackett's revolutionary activity began after he had emerged from tertianship in June, 1914 - six or seven weeks before the outbreak of the First World War.

Ireland 1913 - 14
In 1913, when it began to look as though the Home Rule Bill would be passed, the Unionists, helped by some elements in the British Army, formed the Ulster Volunteers to resist it by force of arms. (It is important to note that the Unionists were the first to appeal to force). In response, Sinn Féin combined with the Home Rulers to form the National Volunteers; early in 1914 Erskine Childers used his yacht to land 1,000 rifles for them; other arms were smuggled in by the efforts of the IRB. This was the Ireland, poised on the brink of civil war, into which Fr. Hackett emerged in June, 1914.

Then, as so often happens in human affairs, the unforeseen upset all plans. On June 28th Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo, and by August 4th Europe was at war. The Ulster Volunteers were taken into the British Army as the Ulster Division. Redmond pledged the support of the Home Rulers and a large number of the National Volunteers also joined up for service against Germany. In the euphoria of the moment the Home Rule Bill was passed, but its operation was suspended till the end of the war. No one expected the war to last long. In the Jesuit status Fr. Hackett found himself posted to Crescent College, Limerick, and took up his duties there in September.

It seems probable that during that fateful summer he visited Annamoe; it is certain that during his years at Limerick he was in constant communication with it. He later wrote a brief account of those years. As it was written from memory, it is not entirely accurate; but it does give some vivid pictures which I shall quote.

Limerick 1914 - 20
When Fr. Hackett went to Limerick it was still thought that the war would not last long, and it seemed likely that, at its close, the struggle for Home Rule would have to be renewed. His first objective, then, as soon as he had settled in at the Crescent, was to get in touch with the local leaders of the volunteers and with their help to establish a Volunteer cadet-corps among the senior boys of the College. (He evidently had the approval of his Rector, Fr. Charlie Doyle). His motive in doing this was quite unambiguous: “I wanted to train my boys to fight for Ireland when their turn came”. It came sure enough: several of his cadets fought later in the ranks of the IRA. A local Volunteer and Sinn Féiner, Ned McLysaght, had an estate near Lough Derg called “Raheen”; he provided a quiet place for the annual summer camps of the cadets from 1915 to 1920.

These camps were run on strictly military lines, with daily drill and weapons-training (euphemistically described in Commandant Hackett's “Order: of the Day as “musketry exercise”). Where the weapons came from is not stated, but Hackett remarks that in 1920, when the possession of fire-arms was prohibited under pain of death, the boys had to train as well as they could without rifles. In any case, by that time I fancy that all available rifles were being used by the IRA.

Not all Fr. Hackett's patriotic activities were warlike. He writes: “The real need in Limerick was, and is, EDUCATION. To try and remedy this we started a League for the study of Social Questions. We got magnificent premises and had the nucleus of a Library, and had some lectures from Fr. Kelleher, Erskine Childers, etc. The Hackett of the Central Catholic Library was already in existence, though in a green uniform. But the whole Irish situation was radically changed in 1916.

The Easter Rising and its Aftermath
When it became clear that the European war was going to drag on for a long time, the IRB began planning on armed insurrection. They had enough influence in the volunteer movement to make this possible, and they hoped to obtain more arms from Germany through the efforts of Sir Roger Casement. The details of this affair are still far from clear (largely owing to the secrecy in which the IRB men shrouded their activities); what seems clear is that they failed to carry the mass of the volunteers with them, and in the event the insurrection of Easter 1916 was carried out by only 2000 men, and only in Dublin, instead of throughout the country. It was suppressed within a week. But, although so badly bungled, it achieved its object.

For the British High Command committed the appalling blunder of executing its leaders as traitors - only de Valera was spared, because he was technically an American citizen. But no Irishman, not even an Orangeman, could really regard as a “traitor” another Irishman because he had rebelled against the British Government in Ireland. The executions produced a revulsion of feeling throughout the country, of which Arthur Griffith's Sinn Féin party was the chief beneficiary. Fr. Hackett's view was that, lamentable as was the loss of so many Irish leaders, the British had dealt themselves by far the heavier blow. Most historians, I think, would accept this verdict.

In the 1916 affair Hackett played a small and yet rather an important part. When the insurrection broke out, communications between Limerick and Dublin were cut, and the Limerick Volunteers were left wondering what to do. Many of them were ready to rise, but they had received no orders. Their leaders consulted Fr. Hackett. His advice was that if they attempted to act without orders they would only make a mess of things and be destroyed - better keep their organization and arms intact and wait for another opportunity. As it turned out, this was excellent advice: when the Troubles really began in 1919 the Limerick Volunteers could be incorporated without difficulty into the IRA. But what is striking about this is the remarkable influence which Father Hackett had already gained by 1916; it helps one to understand the remark which was later attributed to Michael Collins: that Father Hackett was worth 500 men to the Irish cause.

Well, the European war ended at last in November, 1918, and the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, at once held a general election. It turned out well for him except in Ireland. In Ireland, except in the north-east, Sinn Féin swept the country; the Irish Parliamentary Party was practically annihilated, and down with it went the whole idea of Home Rule.

Arthur Griffith could now put his own plans into action. The 70 or so Sinn Féin M.P.'s (including Robert Barton and Erskine Childers) did not go to Westminster; they met at the Mansion House, Dublin, in January 1919, proclaimed themselves the Parliament of Ireland (Dáil Eireann), and declared Ireland an independent republic, with Éamon de Valera as President. They proceeded to set up all the regular organs of government, and Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy (both of the IRB) organised what had been the volunteers into the Irish Republican Army (the first IRA - not to be confused with its bastard offspring of today). The British government then attempted the forcible suppression of the whole movement; Sinn Féin responded by going underground. Shooting began in 1919, and soon became a full-scale guerilla war; the first modern-style guerilla war, with the bombings, shootings, ambushes and reprisals with which the whole world has since become familiar.

Fr. Hackett, still in Limerick, was in the thick of it. He has left an account of a couple of illuminating incidents. In 1919 a general strike was staged at Limerick as part of a campaign of non-cooperation with the British authorities. The military threw a cordon round the city, and no one was allowed in or out without a permit. “I made up my mind”, says Fr. Hackett, “not to get a permit and also to enter the city when I wanted to... on one occasion I had left the city, and in a friend's house I discovered great alarm because they had a lot of cartridges and they were liable to search (sic) and did not know what to do”.

“In a moment I solved the thing by taking the things in my pockets". (He means the deep and capacious pockets of an old-fashioned Irish Clerical greatcoat). I came to the bridge (over the Shannon), was challenged by a sentry who put a bayonet to my chest and said, ‘Your pernit please’. I tried the usual bluff, ‘I have not got one with me’. Again came the demand, more peremptory than before, ‘Your permit, please’. The wind came to my aid by blowing off my hat. I immediately started off in pursuit, The sentry followed in pursuit of me, shouting all the time, ‘Your permit, please’. Then one of those things happened that could only happen in Ireland. A bobby stationed at the far side of the long bridge, seeing me pursuing my hat, ran after it, captured it, politely dusted the edge of it on his sleeve, and handed it back to me and waved his hand to the sentry and said in a very superior tone, ‘Oh, he is all right’.”

A more serious affair was the raid on the Crescent College. Fr. Hackett, anticipating some such move, had blockaded the door of his room so that no one could come in without waking him. “About 1.20 a.m. I was awakened by people scrambling into my room. The leading figure carried an exposed candle in one hand and a revolver in the other. Three coated figures entered my room. To my challenge came the answer of a brandished revolver... They proceeded to go through my papers and presses... I felt fatalistic. My room was seething with sedition and there was a rifle up the chimney and the Shannon File full of Dáil correspondence against the wall. However, nothing happened... I heard afterwards that this raid was unauthorized and was undertaken by officers, one of them being Chief Intelligence Officer... Before leaving our house they wrote in the Visitors' Book \Three Strangers, Nov. 12th’.”

From this it is clear that Father Hackett was in it up to the neck. It is exasperating that he give no details of his work (perhaps the habit of secrecy still held him); but the “Dáil” was, of course, Dáil Eireann, the illegal parliament of the Illegal Irish Republic, and the correspondence dealt with the clandestince operations of the republican government.

What the rifle was doing up the chimney I cannot make out, for Father Hackett was not a fighting man: he regarded himself as the chaplain to the IRA and a non-combatant. Had it been discovered he would have been liable to be shot. Note the curious ineptness which characterise British intelligence work in Ireland, displayed also a couple of months later in the raid on Milltown Park in February 1921. They knew enough to be suspicious, but did not really know what they were looking for. IRA intelligence, on the other hand, was able to tell Fr. Hackett the background of the raid.

Dublin, 1920 - 22
Soon after this incident (because of it?) he was transferred to Belvedere College, Dublin, where his Rector was again Fr. Charlie Doyle. He is listed in the Catalogue as “Assistant to the Editor of the Messenger”. For a man of Fr. Hackett's talents and energies this assignment is laughable; one can only suppose that he was otherwise occupied. It was no doubt at this time that he became a regular visitor to Annamoe.

He has left us no details of his activities. One presumes that he acted as a courier, perhaps especially between IRA headquarters and Erskine Childers; it is clear also from surviving letters of Miss Barton and Mrs. Childers and young Erskine that he was a powerful support to the little family at Glendalough House, especially in early 1921 when the struggle was reaching its climax and when Bob Barton had been seized and imprisoned in Dublin.

But the British government, under pressure from many quarters, was weakening; by mid-1921 Lloyd George had had enough and was willing to negotiate; in July a Truce was proclaimed in Ireland and a peace conference was arranged to take place in London. It seemed that the fighting was over.

In the election of June 16th, 1922, the Irish people returned a considerable majority in favour of the Treaty. Nevertheless, fighting broke out almost immediately. De Valera did not want this, nor did Barton nor Childers, but their hands were forced by more extreme Republicans like Rory O'Connor, Cathal Brugha and Ernie O'Malley. The old pattern of bombings, raids, ambushes, shootings and reprisals was resumed, but now by Irishmen against Irishmen - Republicans against Free Staters.

All this was pure anguish for William Hackett. He was himself a convinced Republican; but he was in any case inextricably involved with the Barton-Childers group and could not have disentangled himself even if he had wanted to. But the Free Staters, unlike the British, knew all about Annamoe and its influence, and were determined to put a stop to it. It was at this point, in September 1922, that Father Hackett was suddenly ordered to Australia.

What lay behind this I do not know. Years ago I was told by Irish Jesuits like the historians Aubrey Gwynn and John Ryan that Hackett must have been arrested if he had stayed in Ireland; the most likely conjecture is that the Free State government, not wanting trouble with the Church, privately asked the Irish Provincial (T.V. Nolan) to remove him. We shall never know the truth about this.

What is certain is that, when Hackett was safely in Australia, the Free State forces staged a raid on Annamoe and seized Childers, Barton and David Robinson. Childers had a revolver in his possession. On this pretext (but really as a reprisal for the repeated killings by Republican gunmen of members of the Dail) he was court-martialed and shot on November 24th, 1922. Rory O'Connor and others were executed likewise. Bob Barton lived for weeks in daily expectation of the same fate, but for some reason was spared to return to Annamoe.

The Society and the Troubles
To understand the Provincial's action in “deporting” Fr. Hackett, one must try to realize how very difficult these years were for the Irish Province. Its members were as deeply divided in their sympathies as were Irishmen generally.

Perhaps I can best make this clear by giving two examples. Fr. Seán Mallin's father was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916; he was shot by the British after the surrender. On the same occasion. Fr John Fahy, the Rector of Belvedere College, received this letter from Dublin Castle :
Reverend Sir
It is a pleasant duty to record my thanks for your good service during the late rebellion in Dublin. I am informed that your personal influence persuaded many rioters to remain at home, and was a powerful factor exercised towards the restoration of order.
Believe me,
Yours very truly,
J.M. Maxwell

The signatory of this letter was “Bloody Maxwell”, the British C-in-C in Ireland who had Mallin shot, along with Pearse, Connolly and the rest. Fr, Fahy kept this letter all his life - one of the very few documents he did keep - one can only suppose that he remained satisfied with the part that he had played.

What brought the Irish Province through this crisis was the f'undamental loyalty of all its members to the Society. When William Hackett was ordered to Australia he went without a murmur; nor is there, in the later correspondence which survives with his friends in Ireland, a single hint of criticism of the Provincial's decision. Almost the first news that came to him in Australia was of the killing of Erskine Childers. It broke his heart. But it did not break his spirit, as we in Australia have good reason to know.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2019

Belvedere’s Revolutionary Priest

Father William Hackett SJ

Dr Barry Kennerk

This inaugural history paper was delivered by Dr Barry Kennerk at Xavier College, Melbourne in June 2018; it emphasises the time-honoured link between Belvedere College and its sister schools in Australia

On 25 September 1922, The Orient steariship, SS Ormonde, left Colombo, Sri Lanka, bound for Australia. The passage had already been a challenging one. The boat departed from London at the beginning of the month, sailed around Spain into the Straits of Gibraltar, and on to Naples where it picked up two hundred Italians, bound for the Northern cane districts. From there, it entered the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea. An Irish priest, Fr William Hackett, was one of the 1300 or so passengers on board but he did not have to share his passage with the farm Workers in steerage. He had a private berth in first class with his travelling companions, Fathers Edmond Frost and Daniel O'Connell. Given Hackett's friendly and outgoing personality, he might well have made the acquaintance of many of his fellow first-class passengers during e six-week voyage. They included Coadjutor Archbishop, Dr Sheehan, a friend of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who felt that Ireland's political future depended on the revival of the Irish language, Liberal parliamentary MP, Mr A Wams and Mr Arnott, works manager of a Sydney biscuit factory, who would later profess to be glad to be back among the smell of the gum trees.

When the Ormonde reached the Red Sea, the heat was unbearable. There were two deaths on board - that of a Mrs Rickards and a Mr Groome, who was due to meet his son in Tasmania. Groome was presumably buried at sea but the body of Mrs Rickards remained on board all the way to Australia. “There would have been more deaths”, a ship's officer later told the Queensland Times, “but for the fresh breeze that commenced”. Every vessel that the Ormonde passed in the Red Sea reported similar distress among the crew and passengers. One cargo boat even signalled that there had been nine deaths? Today, the trip to Australia from Ireland takes little more than a day; the traveller gets little more than jetlag but very little to impart a proper sense of distance; the feeling that one has travelled thousands of miles. For the 44-year old Fr, Hackett, future rector of Xavier College, the experience must have been very different. During his six-week trip, he must have had time to reflect on the country that he was leaving behind and on the events in his life up to that point.

Fr Hackett was born in Kilkenny in 1878 and he entered the Jesuit order at the age of seventeen. He was ordained a priest in 1912. Prior to that, he taught at Clongowes Wood College where he and his brothers had been students. Hackett's involvement with the republican movement in Ireland almost coincided with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. At that time, Hackett was a teacher at Crescent College, Limerick, known colloquially as “The Crescent” and in 1915, he set up a Volunteer cadet corps with the aim of preparing senior boys “to fight for Ireland when their turn came”.

Historian, Brian Heffernan, puts Hackett's revolutionary activities into context; he was just one among many priests who took part in revolutionary activities, some were more disposed to radicalism than others and one or two even owned rifles. Heffernan reveals that some seventy or so priests helped the IRA; whether by “sheltering men on the run, storing arms for the IRA, informing on the police or the army and helping with IRA communications”. Although Hackett's efforts at the Crescent were apparently stopped by the rector there in 1917, his name appears frequently in various Bureau of Military History witness statements; a set of oral history documents that outline the entire period of the Irish revolutionary period.

However, Hackett was not partisan in his views and he was a peacemaker at heart. One of the more interesting accounts concerning him an be found in the witness statement of George Berkeley of the Peace with Ireland Council, who came to Ireland during the spring of 1921. The council was active during the Irish War of Independence, prior to the signing of a treaty that divided the island and when Berkeley visited the country, the atmosphere was politically charg. d; stories were rife of republican suspects who were taken from their beds and interrogated or even killed by forces of the Crown; of soldiers and Dublin Castle men being targeted by Michael Collins' squad of assassins.

Having reached Limerick, Berkeley was introduced to Fr Hackett by Lord Monteagle. On the day they arrived, Hackett took them to Cross-question a boy who had been allegedly tortured by a local policeman to obtain evidence but there was a sudden change of plan and they ended up interviewing some local girls instead. Berkeley recalls what happened next:

“It was one of the most curious interviews in my life. I sat at a table with Father Hackett beside me and took down everything they said. They were three farm girls and a young boy. it was the story of a police attack : on them when they had been enjoying themselves at a dance. They told me how their elder brother had been in the IRA and had had a rifle. He was in constant danger, being known to the police, in fact being ‘on the run’... she spoke very rapidly, as though afraid of omitting any point within the given time, and her whole manner often changed in one single whirling sentence, from half impatient explanation to me to affection and reverence for the priest, and then back to the general flow of bitter resentment for the wrongs done them and for the death of her brother”

When the police raided the dance, they searched the house from top to bottom and they hit the men and girls with the butts of their rifles. The police alleged that the dance had been arranged as a fundraising event so that policemen could be shot. The girls were herded into one room and their brother, Martin, tried to make a break for freedom, but was shot and killed. Before Berkeley left Limerick, he was taken by Hackett to visit a woman whose son had been killed. On the way, Hackett told him about several cases; in particular an incident
Lahinch, County Clare, where, according to Hackett, Crown forces had set fire to a house and threatened to shoot anyone who came out. Afterwards, the priest saw the body of a man who had been burnt to death inside. Evidently, Fr. Hackett was extremely well connected in Limerick. He was able to introduce Berkeley to the mayor and clearly, Lord Monteagle considered him to be the 'go to person. A couple of months after Berkeley left, arrangements were made to establish a commission of inquiry and it had been arranged that Hackett would play a role in the Peace with Ireland council under the direction of Sir John O'Connell in Dublin. The aim was to bring atrocities in Ireland to a stop by collecting evidence, under the direction of a lawyer.

Fr Hackett's biographer, Brenda Niall has described how the priest was under observation in Limerick during the Terror of 1920. Eventually, his room in the Crescent was raided in November 1921. He was later transferred to Belvedere College, Dublin, where, according to Niall, he had no teaching duties; being relegated instead to publication of the Messenger of the Sacred Heart whose offices were, at that time, off to one side of the school yard. I think Niall is correct in her assertion that this was something of a sideline activity for Hackett and that it did not make the best use of his talents. Examination of the school archive confirms that he did not participate in any teaching at Belvedere but Hackett's wide sphere of influence and connections outside of the school could never have permitted him to remain in the shadows. For instance, one wonders what the Jesuit authorities might have made of the letter he received from Roger Casement's cousin, Gertrude Parry in November 1921:

“(George Gavan Duffy) tells me now a good deal about your Irish Messenger, & I write to say I will be very glad indeed to help you in any way I can about publishing a life of Roger Casement. I hope to be in Dublin some time in the not too distant future & if I may I will call on you”.

One of the things I have struggled with, however, is the sequencing of events. According to our school archive, Hackett arrived at Belvedere on 5 April 1927 and the school catalogue confirms that he was indeed assistant director of the Messenger. Aside from that, another of his duties was to give “points for meditation to the brothers” and to act as “house confessor”. The journal account for April reads: “Fr. Hackett arrived at 7pm; sleeping for the present at Lr Leeson Street”. The following day, we are told: “Fr Tomkins left for Galway today and Fr Hackett occupies his room”. If Hackett was back in Limerick in November 1921, he must have still had considerable latitude to travel around the country. This is borne out by close examination of papers held at the Jesuit archives in Dublin which confirms that during his time at Belvedere, Hackett continued to interest himself in the plight of political prisoners. On 24 November 1921 for instance, Mr Waller of the Peace for Ireland Council wrote to him there about the treatment of noted academic, Alfred O Rahilly, who had been arrested and imprisoned in Spike Island off the Cork coast for his political writings. Just two months earlier, Berkeley had informed Hackett that no less than eight professors at Dublin's Trinity College were prepared to support O Rahilly's release.

As an independent thinker, Hackett would certainly have found the atmosphere at Belvedere quite stultifying at times. A directive, issued to the Rector of Belvedere on 4 September 1922, urged the Jesuit community to avoid “free conversation” at breakfast as that was “especially objectionable”. Cycling was also discouraged without leave in writing and in particular, long runs or “Record Runs” of the type that Fr Hackett so clearly enjoyed were proscribed. At that time, the rector at Belvedere was Charles Doyle. He had only recently taken up the post after the departure of the previous incumbent, John Fahy, whose views would have been quite different to those of Hackett. Fahy had taken up a new position as Provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland but he returned to Belvedere on at least a couple of occasions while Hackett was working at the school. He was also vice president of the Belvedere College Social Service Club.

Unlike Hackett, Fahy had taken a decidedly apolitical stance towards the revolution in Ireland. Doyle, it would seem, held similar views and close study of the school's annual journal, The Belvederian confirms this. Articles on topics concerning current events did of course appear during the period 1916-1922 but the editorial line was explicitly non-partisan. Alongside stories about the fighting during Easter Week, one finds news of past students who were fighting in the First World War. The following wry comment appeared in the 1916 edition of the magazine:

“Stories of hair-breadth escapes are the order of the day, their name is legion, but their reliability-doubtful. If a prize were offered it should be won by the boy who was near Liberty Hall when a shell passed between his legs. Relic collecting is another natural outcome of the week's fighting. Bullets were the chief trophies. If a bullet could blush many of them must have blushed themselves out of existence at the stories that were told about them”.

When the Rising broke out in Dublin in Easter 1916, the sisters at nearby Temple Street Hospital considered Fahy to be “a true friend” who was “untiring in his efforts” and he took great pains to keep priests and pupils off the streets during the fighting - something for which he was later praised by Ireland's interim military governor, General John Maxwell. He and his fellow priests were granted permission to hear confessions and administe

Hanley, Martin, 1885-1921, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/808
  • Person
  • 11 November 1885-18 October 1921

Born: 11 November 1885, Lower Hartsonge Street, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 18 October 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1909 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1911

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he continued at Tullabeg for studies.
He was then sent to Gemert in Germany for three years Philosophy.
1908-1916 He sailed to Australia for Regency teaching at Riverview
1916 He returned from Australia and began Thelogy at Milltown, being Ordained 1919.
1920 He was sent to Crescent.
1921 He was sent to Tullabeg for Tertianship. His death there was as a result of an accident. he went out to swim and struck his head against a rock. he was brought back to Tullabeg and seemed to be recovering. A sudden change in his condition occurred before an operation could be performed.

Out of deference to his parents wishes he was buried at Mungret.

He was a man of great promise.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Martin Hanley entered the Society 7 September 1904, at Tullabeg. After novitiate and juniorate he was posted to Riverview from 1912, looking after the boats and being second division prefect. After the best part of four years he returned to undertake theology at Milltown Park from 1917 and was ordained during 1919.
However, the poor health he had while at Riverview continued, and instead of going on tertianship in 1921 he was sent to Sacred Heart College in Limerick, where amongst other things he was sports master. He went to Tullabeg as a tertian in 1921 and died suddenly. Apparently he went out to swim and hit his head against a rock. He had come back to the house and seemed to be recovering, but took a turn for the worse and died before he could be operated on.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Died as a result of an accident while diving in the River Brosna the day before the Long Retreat.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Martin Hanley (1885-1921)

Born in Limerick and educated at Crescent College, entered the Society in 1904. After his arts studies, he was sent to Holland for his philosophy course (1908-11) and did his regency at Riverview College, Sydney. He was recalled to Ireland for theology in 1916 and was ordained three years later at Milltown Park. He came for one year as master to his old school, 1920-21 and left for his tertianship at Tullabeg. He died on 18 October as the result of a head injury received when swimming.

Hannon, John J, 1884-1947, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/176
  • Person
  • 24 May 1884-18 July 1947

Born: 24 May 1884, William Street, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1918, St Mary’s, Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex, England
Died: 18 July 1947, Curia Generalizia Compagnia di Gesù, Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy

Father General's English Assistant - 1946

by 1904 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1906
by 1913 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1918 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1947 at Rome, Italy (ROM) English Assistant

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
]ohn Hannon entered the Society as a highly talented sixteen year old, and after novitiate and one year juniorate, studied philosophy at Gemert in 1903. At the end of 1906 he was sent to Australia, and spent part of 1906 and 1907 teaching at St Aloysius' College. For the remainder of 1907 until 1912 he taught at Riverview, and in a reflection of his ability he was senior rowing master, 1911-12.
He returned to Milltown Park for theology and after ordination and tertianship he took final vows at the start of 1918 and began teaching theology, which was his basic life's work. He was rector of the theologate at Milltown Park, and in the late 1930s was apostolic visitor for the Irish Christian Brothers throughout the world. He became the English assistant in Rome and he died in office in 1947.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - English Assistant 23 September 1946

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Milltown Park :
On hearing of Fr. Hannon's appointment as Assistant, Fr. Rector sent a telegram of congratulation on behalf of Milltown Park. Fr, Hannon has been stationed here for a great many years. He was Professor of Philosophy and Theology and was Rector from 1924 to 1930.

Sacred Heart, Crescent, Limerick :
Fr. Rector sent a telegram of congratulation to Fr. Hannon, a past pupil of the Crescent College, on his appointment as Assistant.
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 3 1947

GENERAL :
The sudden death of V. Rev. Fr. John J. Hannon, Assistant, on the morning of July 18th as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage came as a great shock to the Province, R.I.P. An account of his career appears below. Fr. Provincial sent immediately a message of sympathy to his Paternity in the name of the Irish Province. .
In his telegram announcing Fr. Hannon's death, Fr. General re called to Rome Fr. Van den Brempt, the Substitute Secretary for the English Assistancy, who came to Dublin on July 14th to perfect his English, and went on the Juniors' Villa at Balbriggan the following day. Fr. Van den Brempt left Dunlaoghaire for Holyhead on the night of Sunday, July 20th.

Obituary :
Fr. John Hannon (1884-1900-1947)
Fr. John J. Hannon, English Assistant, died suddenly in Rome, in the early hours of 18th July, as a result of an attack of cerebral hemorrhage. He failed to appear for his Mass at 6.30 a.m. that morning, and was also missed at breakfast. On entering his room shortly after 7 o'clock, Fr. Henry Nolan found him dead in bed, death having supervened some hours previously. The Superior of the Curia, Fr. Martin, the Italian Assistant administered conditional Extreme Unction. Fr. Hannon had been his usual self the evening previously, and had attended to various items of business, including the purchase of a ticket to Malta where he was due to give retreats in early September. He had been, it is true, under medical care for his heart, and was on a diet for some months previously, but few realised the end was so near, though he himself had given various hints that he did not expect to live long. The funeral obsequies took place on Saturday, 19th July after Mass in the chapel of the Curia, which was offered by His Paternity, who also said the last prayers in the Cemetery at Agro Verano, where Fr. Hannon's mortal remains await the resurrection.
Fr. Hannon was born in Limerick on 24th May, 1884 and went to school to the Christian Brothers and later to our College, the Crescent. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on 7th September, 1900, where he also studied rhetoric for a year as a Junior before being sent to Gemert in Holland for his philosophy. It was here that he began to show that special aptitude for scholastic studies to which many years of his later life were to be dedicated. He shone in a class of brilliant students, in the French house, which included men of the stamp of D'Herbigny.
The six years of his magisterium in the Colleges he spent in Australia, at St. Aloysius' and St. Ignatius', Riverview, and was for the final year Prefect of studies at Riverview. He returned to Ireland in 1912 and was sent to Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol for his theological studies, which he completed at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained on 31st July, 1915 by Dr. Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. He made his tertianship during the year 1916-7 under Fr. Ignatius Gartlan at Tullabeg, and was then chosen for a biennium in preparation for a chair in dogmatic Theology in Milltown, going to Ore Place, Hastings in the autumn of 1917. He was professed of the four Vows there on 2nd February, 1918. His biennium had to be interrupted when the new Philosophate was opened at Milltown, to accommodate our scholastics who had, owing to the threat of conscription, to be withdrawn from Jersey and Stonyhurst. Fr. Hannon was one of the professors, and continued teaching philosophy for the next six years. During Fr. Peter Finlay's absence in Rome as one of the Province delegates at the 27th General Congregation in 1923, Fr. Hannon had his first opportunity as a professor of theology, and those who attended these first classes will retain a pleasurable memory of his gift of clear exposition, his youthful enthusiasm for the subject treated, his delightful fluency in Latin. In 1924 he joined the permanent staff of theological professors and was also appointed Rector of Milltown, whose destinies he guided till 1930. During this period he did much to improve the status of the studies and the material development of the House. The Chapel was the object of his special predilection, thanks to the generosity of benefactors he was able to carry out a scheme of decoration which transformed its appearance and to install a new tabernacle set in priceless jewels. Fr. Hannon succeeded Fr. Peter Finlay in the public chair of dogmatic Theology in the National University in 1924, a post he held for ten years. Once a Week during each term of the academic year he lectured to an over flowing and enthusiastic audience, chiefly from the student body of University College, Dublin, for whom he worked exceedingly hard in making available to them in the columns of “The Irish Catholic”, the weekly lecture in full. A new feature of this professorship consisted in written examinations in the matter treated each year, with the offering of substantial money prizes for successful candidates. To an enquiry as to the attendance which these lectures attracted, the College porter once replied: “Why, it's like a Mission”!
Fr. Hannon was. Consultor of the Province from 1931 to 1938, when he was appointed to a post which made it impossible for him to continue in that capacity, we refer to the task confided to him by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor to the Congregation of Irish Christian Brothers, shortly after the termination of the 28th General Congregation, at which he again represented the Province. In the discharge of his new responsibilities he bad to visit practically every land of the English speaking world. From these extensive travels he gleaned, incidentally, an immense experience of men and things, and first-hand information on questions of Catholic interest, especially the extent and influence of Irish Catholic penetration abroad which impressed him profoundly and was the frequent theme of his conversation and of the eloquent public lectures he delivered later to so many different audiences.
During the war Fr. Hannon bad occasion to visit Rome in connection with visitation matters. During his stay he was entrusted by the Holy Father with the task of visiting prisoners-of-war camps in Italy and giving retreats to Catholic officers and men from various English-speaking countries detained there. We can imagine the comfort which the genial presence of this special representative of the Holy Father brought the prisoners, not a few of whom he had already met when in Australia as a scholastic or whose people were personally known to him. Fr. Hannon went again to Rome as Province elector at the 29th General Congregation which chose Fr. Janssens as General. He himself was elected Assistant to the English Assistancy on 22nd September, 1946, the second in the history of our Province to be chosen to that post of responsibility, the first being Fr. John Ffrench, a Co. Galway man, who died in the Professed House, Rome, in 1873.
Fr. Hannon was scarcely 10 months Assistant, and of these ten months he spent about two outside Rome, on the occasion of his short visit to the Irish and English Provinces in January and February of the present year. A stranger hitherto to the latter Province he made a deep impression on its members by his affability, his wide experience and dexterity in the management of affairs. They and we were looking forward to the possession for many years to come, of such a kindly and influential ‘friend at court’, a wise and prudent counsellor, but God decided otherwise, and called him away suddenly in the midst of his unselfish labours.
The late Assistant was a man of deep unobtrusive piety, of a simplicity and naturalness which were the key to the ascendancy which he so readily won over hearts. He had, to help him, that precious talent of remembering names and faces and could, it may be said without exaggeration, resume again, after the lapse of years, threads of conversation where they had broken off, so retentive a memory he had for people's individual interests, those little joys and sorrows of others which never failed to find a sympathetic echo in his own affectionate heart. Homo sum - humani nihil a me alienum puto could truly, and in the best sense of the phrase of Terence be said of him.
His exceptionally clear analytic mind was paired with ripeness of judgment and practical common sense, gifts these which rendered him such an invaluable counsellor in Curia circles. But, for those who knew Fr. Hannon best, the outstanding gift to him from Heaven was that conspicuous splendor caritatis with which his least word or action was instinct, in whose genial glow hearts were fired, or the mists of prejudice and misunderstanding melted away. R.I.P.

Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, Air Force Chaplain, 25-7-47 :
“I learned only to-day from the English Province Chaplains' Weekly of the death of Fr. Hannon. R.I.P. I was deeply shocked to hear of it. I saw him for the last time on Tuesday, July 8th, when I said good bye to him as I was leaving Rome that night. . I met Fr. Hannon within a short time of my arrival in Rome on July 3rd. He had written to me previously and informed me of the very full arrangements he had made for me if I came down for the canonisation ceremonies of SS. John de Britto and Bernardino Realino. When I met him on arrival he was most kind and put me in the hands of Fr. Henry Nolan. I saw him every day during my stay at the Curia. He was always enquiring about how I was getting on, suggesting I should see such a place, and he went to great trouble to get me a seat in the tribune for the canonisation for Saints Elizabeth des Anges and Michael Garicoits on July 6th. He was finding the intense heat very trying. He took recreation with Fr. O'Donnell, the American Substitute, and myself on the roof several nights, but be used to retire early, because, he said, he could not sleep in the mornings and had to try to make up some sleep at night. I think he was very glad to see somebody from the Province. His Italian was not perfect, and he probably welcomed a chance of speaking to one of his fellow countrymen. May he rest in peace”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
John Hannon 1884-1947
Fr John Hannon was one of the best known members of the Province in Ireland and abroad among both laymen and clerics, and was the second Irishman to hold the responsible post of Assistant to the General.

He was a Limerick man born in that city on May 24th 1884. Educated at the Crescent, he entered the Society in 1900. After his ordination in 1915, he became Professor of Theology at Milltown Park and lectured also in Theology at University College Dublin. After being Rector of Milltown Park for six years he was appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor to the Irish Christian Brothers throughout the world in 1938.

In 1946 he attended the 29th General Congregation as a delegate of the Irish province. There he was chosen as English Assistant. His term of office was, alas, only too short, for he died suddenly in Rome the following year on July 18th 1947.

He was a man of very handsome appearance, of great charm of manner, accompanied by great gifts of mind, an unusual combination which he used for the glory of God and the advancement of religion. He was much in demand for priests retreats and had a very fruitful apostolate among the sick in hospitals. To him we owe the present beautiful chapel at Milltown Park.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John Hannon (1884-1947)

In the foregoing pages, only Jesuits who have been members of the Limerick community have been noticed in the biographical index. Yet, this centenary publication would not be complete if it did not assign a notice to two Irish Jesuits who were never members of the community. Father Edmund O'Reilly undoubtedly had much to do with the restoration of the Society in Limerick, while Father John Hannon, an Old Crescent boy, became the second Irish Father Assistant at Rome in the four centuries history of the Society.

Father John Hannon (1884-1947), a native of Limerick, received his early education with the Christian Brothers and at Sacred Heart College. He was admitted to the Society in 1900. After his classical studies he was sent to Belgium for philosophy and later spent his regency in Australia. His theological studies were made at Innsbruck and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1915. At the end of his tertianship he continued his studies in theology in preparation for a chair at Milltown Park. For some years after his return to Ireland he taught philosophy. From 1924 to 1934 he occupied the public chair of dogmatic theology at University College, Dublin, while a member of the theological faculty at Milltown Park. In 1938, he was appointed Apostolic Visitor to the Irish Christian Brothers. His studies in this important post brought him to all parts of the world where the Christian Brothers have established themselves. At the end of the war, on the occasion of a General Congregation of the Society in Rome, Father Hannon was elected to the important post of Assistant for Ireland, England, Canada and Belgium (with dependent missions). He died suddenly in Rome some ten months later on 18 July, 1947.

Hartnett, Cornelius, 1873-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1415
  • Person
  • 20 March 1873-25 June 1948

Born: 20 March 1873, Westbury, Tasmania, Australia
Entered: 17 January 1892, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows 15 August 1909, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 25 June 1948, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 1899

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1910 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Cornelius Hartnett was a native of Tasmania, and was educated at St Ignatius' College, Riverview. He entered the Society, 18 March 1891, at Loyola College, Greenwich. This was followed by two years studying rhetoric at Greenwich, after which, from 1894-1900, he taught and was successively first and second prefect, and hall prefect at Xavier College, Kew.
In June 1900 Hartnett left Australia for philosophy at Vals, France, but when religious congregations were expelled from France, he went to Holland. Theology was at Milltown Park,
Dublin, 1903-07, and tertianship at Tronchiennes, Belgium, 1907-08. He returned to Australia in 1908 and taught at Riverview, 1908-13, and at St Patrick's College, 1913-15, before working in the parishes of Richmond, Norwood, Hawthorn, Lavender Bay, and North Sydney. From 1930-40 he was spiritual father at St Aloysius' College and worked in the church of Star of the Sea. Hartnett was a good cricketer when young, and intellectually gifted, but too nervy to make the most of his talents. He was very gentle and unassuming, warm hearted, genial and greatly liked at Milsons Point and Lavender Bay He held strong views against bodyline bowling, but on other subjects was mild and tolerant.

Healy, Joseph, 1876-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1428
  • Person
  • 21 September 1876-21 June 1954

Born: 21 September 1876, Dublin
Entered: 05 April 1893, Loyola Greenwuch, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows 15 August 1916, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 21 June 1954, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1903 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1904 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1910 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Though born in Dublin, Joe Healy came to Australia with his parents as a child and was educated at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, 1892-93. He entered the Society at Greenwich, 5 April 1893 and after the noviciate was assistant prefect of studies and discipline, organised the junior debating and was choirmaster at Riverview until 1896.
He then returned to Loyola College, Greenwich, for his juniorate studies, 1896-97, before returning to teach at Riverview, 1897-1902. He was also in charge of the chapel, drama and junior debating. He continued his interest in the choir, and assisted Thomas Gartlan with the rowing.
In July 1902 Healy set sail for Europe and philosophy at Valkenburg and Stonyhurst, 1902-05. He taught at the Crescent, Limerick, 1905-07, studied theology at Milltown Park, 1907-11, and returned to Australia and Riverview, 1911-14. Tertianship followed in Ranchi, India, 1915, with another term at Riverview, 1915-22. He spent two years at St Patrick's College, 1922-24, and 1924-30 at Xavier College, as well as 1930-34 at the parish of Hawthorn.
He returned to Riverview, 1934-52, as spiritual father to the boys. In 1950 he retired from teaching after 41 years, and from 1952, when his memory began to fade, he prayed for the Society living at Canisius College, Pymble.
During his early time at Riverview, he was both teacher and sportsmaster. He developed cricket, football and rowing to a very high level, organised a fine orchestra and produced more than one Gilbert and Sullivan opera. His swimming carnival in the college baths was one of the highlights of each year He inspired the students with his own great enthusiasm. His own greatest pleasure was to be with the students. He would say that they kept him young despite advancing years. He gave himself totally to the task of serving them, with all the energy he could muster.
Healy was a very accomplished classical scholar and pianist, and a keen sportsman. He was a real gentleman who had to fight a slightly melancholic temperament. Riverview was his great love and it was a great cross to finally leave it.

Higgins, Jeremiah, 1892-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1448
  • Person
  • 30 September 1892-23 January 1965

Born: 30 September 1892, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 23 January 1965, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1916 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1918-1921 Rathfarnham - Studied for BA at UCD
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 40th Year No 2 1965
Fr Jerry Higgins SJ (1892-1965)
Fr. John Casey was for many years Spiritual Father to the philosophers in Tullabeg. He was level-headed and solidly sound, and in clear-cut statements gave carefully measured advice. To a philosopher about to begin his colleges he remarked : “I see you are assigned to the Crescent. I see you are the only scholastic there. I see too that Fr. Higgins is going there from Galway. Make a friend of Fr. Higgins. He is a man who will say little at recreation. But visit him in his room. You will find him kind and helpful. He is a friend worth having”.
Fr, Bat Coughlan was a rock of wisdom and learning, a confessor sought after by laymen and priests. “If ever I meet a case”, he once said, “that requires patience and kindness and understanding I know no one better to whom to send it than to Fr. Higgins, I am reluctant, however, to impose on him because I know how much such cases cost him in physical energy”.
These are unsolicited testimonies from two very different men, These were men who had lived with Fr. Higgins and had come to know his worth. Those who had not lived with him or who never broke through his quiet reserve found it difficult to keep in conversation with him. When one knew Fr. Higgins, conversation either flowed naturally or the silences were restful. One did not feel the need to talk, a friend was near. Fr. Higgins will be remembered with affection by all those who lived with him especially in Gardiner Street and more especially during the seven years when he was Minister. It was as Minister that he was forced to show to all, gifts that were well known to his intimate friends. His room as Minister was a “half-way house” for every member of the community, and he was everyone's friend. He was never fussed, one got the impression that the complicated and ever changing weekly lists of preachers, supplies and Masses worked automatically, Fr. Higgins had a charm that attracted every one to him, he was cultured and refined. He knew and loved a good book, he delighted in good pictures and appreciated good music. He read German, French, Italian and Irish classics in their original language, and he wrote perfect Latin with ease and his sermons in English were considered to be gems of literature - many have expressed the hope that they have been preserved and may perhaps be published. Fr. Higgins spent most of his life in the classroom. With his rich background of wide reading and his naturally well ordered mind and a manner, though quiet, demanded respect, he was a teacher well above average. Teaching, however, must have been a trial to him, because he was not the type that would force an unwilling horse to drink ! He was at his best when his listeners were sympathetic. Intellectual converts appreciated him. On every page of the Baptismal Register in Gardiner Street his name appears and often more than once, during his years there. He has an uncanny gift of finding the exact book that answered all the needs of the varied converts whom he instructed during his years in Gardiner Street. One would think that it was just by chance that he picked the right book-but far from it. His knowledge of the good books was wide and his judgment on a piece of writing was accurate and fair. He loved a good joke, and could tell one. He could sum up a person or a situation in a few words that said everything.
Fr. Higgins detested the sham and the artificial in every department, education, spiritual life, national life. His keen and balanced judgment saw through every facade. It was no light cross for him to bear with those who were satisfied with the second-best. Fr. Jerry was a delightful companion on a journey and he 'made' a villa. To the last years of his life he had the gift of joining in the general fun of men twenty or thirty years his junior. A game of cards where Jerry took a hand was sure to be an enjoyable game, if for no other reason than that he gave himself wholeheartedly to it. Order and neatness and regularity and painstaking care to detail marked everything he did. One would venture to say that nowhere in the Province are there Ministers' books written up-to date with a minimum of words and a maximum of information as one will find in Gardiner Street covering the years that Fr. Jerry was Minister there. As a confessor he had a big following of hard cases. “Go to Fr. Jeremiah” was a cant-phrase in the underworld of human weakness. The cardinals in the church missed him much when unable to be their Spiritual Director. The nurses in the Mater wept when he died. He is missed in Gardiner Street community, too. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.

Hurley, Thomas, 1890-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/188
  • Person
  • 20 January 1890-13 October 1976

Born: 20 January 1890, Drimoleague, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 October 1976, St Camillus Hospital, Limerick

Part of the Sacred Heart, The Crescent, Limerick community at the time of death

“Vita Functi” in HIB Catalogue 1978 says RIP date is 15/10, but this is a typo and should be 13/10.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After some Jesuit studies in Ireland, Thomas Hurley sailed for Australia in 1916 and joined the Xavier College staff, teaching public exam students and taking senior debating. He was rowing master, 1918-20. After final vows in 1927 he spent most of his life teaching in various schools.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Obituary :
Fr Thomas Hurley (1890-1976)
On October 13th 1976, at St. Camillus Hospital, Limerick, died Fr Thomas Hurley, SJ
Born on January 20th 1890 at Drimoleague, Co. Cork, he completed his primary education in the local National School, and then went to Clongowes. From there, on September 7th, 1907 he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg. On completing his Noviceship, he began his Juniorate Studies in the same place - passing to the other side of the Refectory from that of the novices to take his place among his fellow Juniors. From Tullabeg he went to Milltown Park, from where he went for two years to UCD., studying Science. He was then sent to North Brabant for his Philosophy, (1912-1214), after which he began teaching in Belvedere College, Dublin. From 1915 to 1920 he was teaching in St. Xavier's, Melbourne from which he returned to Milltown Park for Theology, and was ordained on August 15th 1922. After Theology, he went to Ghent, Belgium, for his Tertianship: 1924-1925,
He began to lecture in Philosophy and to teach Mathematics in Mungret College in 1925, from where he went to the Crescent in 1928 to teach Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. His teaching career continued when he went to Clongowes in 1933, and when he returned to the Crescent in 1939. This teaching career came to a halt in 1950 when he began a three year period as “Operarius” in the Crescent Church, Limerick.
Concerning Father Hurley’s teaching life, the following words from the Limerick Papers on the occasion of his death reveal something of his dedication as a teacher:
“Father Hurley was a man of great energy and was totally engaged in a variety of activities during his long life. Apart from his very lengthy and successful career as a teacher and missioner, he took a very keen interest in the Irish Language, and for many years brought groups of boys on Summer Courses to Irish Colleges. He wrote some CTS Pamphlets, and also the life of Father Michael Browne, SJ - a Limerick man. For a number of years he took a very keen and practical interest in the activities of the Irish Red Cross Society. He was always available for occasional sermons and Church supply work at short notice”.
During some of his teaching years in the Crescent, Fr. Hurley had, as his Prefect of Studies, Father Edward Andrews, now in Galway. Fr Andrews says: “He was a very painstaking teacher, and I could always rely on good results from his exam classes ... He joined our Community again when I was Rector. He was then only on Church work, and preached very good sermons. Of course, like all of us, he had his critics."
In 1953 Fr Tom Hurley was appointed to the Jesuit Mission and Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he remained until 1962. In that year he returned to pastoral work in the Crescent Church, Limerick, and remained at this work until 1976, although failing health interrupted this work very much during about five years before his death.
One who knew Fr Tom Hurley well as a missioner - Fr Willie Hogan, now in the Crescent - writes:
“Father Hurley came on the Mission Staff in 1953 when in his 64th year. While this was a very late beginning in a missioner's work and hence more onerous than for a younger person, Fr Hurley put his heart and soul into it. While not spectacular he was a solidly good missioner, hard-working and devoted to the Confessional. He got on well with the Parochial Clergy, which is a very important thing in the running of a Parish Mission. He was considerate for those working with him, and was ready to entertain and consider suggestions made for the general good of the mission in hand. I lived with him from 1971 onwards in the Crescent. By that time he had failed greatly and lived very much to himself. If I could do so, it is not the period of his life about which I should care to write much: senility is seldom flattering”.
Father Coyne, although somewhat senior in the Society to Father Tom Hurley, remembers that, at least among his contemporaries he was known as “Timothy Tom” - a name given him in the noviceship “as if in an inspired moment by a second-year novice who died recently in Australia. Fr Coyne says also that Fr. Hurley “showed little inclination for games throughout life; a pointer, perhaps, in this direction was the post he held as a Clongowes student in the boys' reading room, where he functioned as assistant librarian, and spent leisure hours in reading”.
In Obituary Notices critics rarely raise a voice, because, I suppose, of an excessive fidelity to the old rule: “de mortuis nil nisi bonum”. Yet if charitable care is made in making them, criticisms may well reveal nothing more than unfortunate consequences of virtues exercised without stint. It is not, for example, really so terrible a fault if an ever helpful and over-working teacher or Church-man surrenders wearily to a chair on returning to his room rather than to the energetic arranging neatly and in order of textbooks, “home-work”, sermon notes, reference books, letters, etc. God understands us, and will take heed and reward the good work that was done, and pay little attention - we can feel sure - to harmless human failings that were revealed in the doing of it.

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Thomas Hurley SJ

Tom came to Clongowes from Drimoleague in 1903 and spent four years here. On leaving, he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in Tullabeg, and took his first vows there in September 1909. He then studied mathematics and science in UCD, and Philosophy in Belgium. As a Scholastic, he taught in Belvedere College, and in Xavier College, Melbourne. He returned in 1920 to begin his Theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained there in July 1922. He then returned to his teaching career, being stationed in Mungret (1925-28), Crescent (1928-33), Clongowes (1933-39), and Crescent again (1939-50), His teaching career ended in 1950 when he began church work in the Crescent Church, Limerick. In 1953 he took up Missionary work, conducting missions and retreats all over the country. He continued in this work until 1962 when he returned to parochial work in the Crescent Church. A few years ago he had to retire owing to ill health.

Fr Hurley was a man of great energy, and was totally devoted to the work he had in hand. He was a painstaking teacher, and his students were very successful in the public examinations. As a churchman, he was a forceful and very practical preacher, and was devoted to his work in the confessional. As a result of his work as a missioner, he was very well known among the clergy and religious throughout the country, and was well liked by them. Apart from his work as a teacher and preacher, he took a very keen interest in the Irish College at Ballingeary. He wrote a number of CTS pamphlets, and also wrote a life of the late. Fr Michael Browne SJ. For a number of years he took a very keen and pracitcal interest in the activities of the Irish Red Cross Society. He died in Limerick on the 13th of October 1976 at the age of 86.

Kelly, Dominic, 1873-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1510
  • Person
  • 04 August 1873-07 September 1952

Born: 04 August 1873, Co Wexford
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 September 1952, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Dominic Kelly was educated at Clongowes, 1886-90, and entered the Society at Tullabeg, 6 September 1890. After studying the classics at the National University Dublin, 1892-95,
where he gained an MA, he taught rhetoric and prepared students for the public examinations at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1895-99. Then he studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1899-01, returning to Clongowes to teach Latin, Greek and German, 1901-03. A further few years were spent teaching at the Crescent, Limerick, before theology at Milltown Park, 1904-08. Tertianship was at Tronchiennes 1911.
After a few years teaching Greek and Latin at Clongowes, he was sent to Australia, teaching mathematics and physics at Xavier College, Kew, 1916-18.
He then went to Newman College, 1919-47, tutoring university students in Latin, Greek, French and German. He had a college choir for a few years, and was spiritual father to the
community. He enjoyed his time there, and the students enjoyed his company In his own quiet way, he joined the students in their activities. He attended all the sporting matches on the oval, and was seen on a bicycle watching the boat races. He entered into their poker games by working out the probability of a royal flush to be one in 649,739!
His final years, 1948-52, were spent teaching petrology and modern languages to the scholastics at Canisius College, Pymble. He also taught liturgy and biblical Greek.
Kelly was a very quiet little man, very erudite and modest with a wide variety of interests. He gave a good, but emotional retreat, and translated the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola into Gaelic. He interested himself in astronomy and discovered a new star. As 1. hobby, he studied botany, especially seaweed. He could quote Horace without reference to the books. He was fascinated with cameras and took aerial photographs of Clongowes by means of a camera attached to a box kite. As a young man he played football and cricket and always remained a keen and capable tennis player. All in all, he was an accomplished person who was highly respected as a man who combined great learning with unaffected modesty.

Note from Wilfred Ryan Entry
He, with Jeremiah Murphy and Dominic Kelly, set the tone for Newman College of the future.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 4 1952
Obituary :
Father Dominick Kelly (Australian Province)

Fr. Dom Kelly's death in Australia was announced on September 7th. Born in Waterford on August 4th, 1873, he appeared to have been the last surviving old boy of Tullabeg, where he spent six months before the amalgamation of that College with Clongowes in 1880. He was four years at Clongowes where he had a distinguished Intermediate course. His subjects included ancient classics, modern languages, mathematics, music, physics and drawing, in the latter subject he won medals in the Junior and Senior Grades. He entered the Society on September 6th, 1890 at Tullabeg, where he made his Juniorate studies, after which he remained on to teach the Juniors for some years, preparing at the same time for his own University examinations. He secured a high M.A. degree in classics at the old Royal University. He studied philosophy for three years at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he was classical master at Clongowes. He was ordained priest in 1907 at Milltown Park where he read a distinguished course in Theology. His third year probation he made at Tronchiennes. After this he resumed work in the classroom at Clongowes where he taught Greek, Latin and Irish until his transfer to Australia in 1917. He was master in Xavier College, Kew, until the opening of Newman College, Melbourne in 1919 when he began his long and fruitful association with University students as tutor in Greek, Latin, French and German.
This association was to last till the year 1948. In that year he became professor of patrology and modern languages at our Scholasticate in Pymble, N.S.W.
Fr. Dom was a man of brilliant intellectual parts and a delightful community man. Those of our Province who were privileged to have him as master can attest his talent for imparting knowledge and securing the pupil's delighted interest. No mean musician himself, he was charged, in addition to his other duties, with the office of choir master for nearly all his life. An amateur photographer of skill, he made local history in Clongowes once by securing aerial photos of the Castle and Grounds from a camera with a time-fuse which he floated by means of a kite. Fr. Kelly remained the doyen of the class room till his death at Pymble. In this year's Catalogue of the Australian Province he appears as “Lect. ling. mod. an. 51”, a record rarely, if ever beaten. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1953

Obituary

Father Dominic Kelly SJ

Father Dominic Kelly SJ died at Canisius' College, Pymble, Australia, on Sunday, 7th September, 1952.

He died as he had lived the far greater part of his long life, in the bosom of his beloved Order. Every Jesuit old boy - indeed everyone who took the slighest interest in the work of the Jesuit Father's in Australia - knew, or at least had heard of Father “Dom” Kelly. This is not the least remarkable fact about the life of this remarkable man, because he persistently strove to hide his light under the proverbial bushel. But the scope of his in tellectual powers, his charm and humility, and his saintly life as a Priest were such that he failed to keep himself from notice. This was probably the only thing he ever set out to do which he failed to accomplish. Hundreds who never had the pleasure of meeting Father Kelly will mourn his passing. To those who had the pleasure of his friendship, his death will leave a gap not easily filled.

Father Kelly was born at Waterford, in the year 1873. At the age of 13 he went to Clongowes ,Wood College. At the age of 17 he left Clongowes to join the Society of Jesus. As a Scholastic he studied classics at the Royal University, where he took his Master's degree. He did his Philosophy at Valkenberg, Holland, at a house belonging to the then exiled German Jesuits. He taught at Tullabeg before he returned to Milltown Park to do his Theology before his ordination in 1910. In 1911 he did his Tertianship in Belgium, after which he returned to Clongowes to teach classics and German. But his brilliant mind was far too active to find complete satisfaction in the Classics which he had completely mastered he could quote Horace without any reference to the books - so he set about seeking new fields to conquer. To his classics he added French. He translated the Exercises of St Ignatius into his native Irish tongue. He interested himself in Astronomy and discovered a new star. He took aerial photographs of Clongowes by means of a camera attached to a box kite. He was only happy when he was laying aside one intellectual conquest to start in search of another. All the while he was teaching with obvious success many brilliant students such as Dr McQuaid, the present Archbishop of Dublin; Father Dan O'Connell SJ, lately appointed in charge of the Vatican Observatory; Father Fergal McGrath SJ, later well-known and successful author; and Father Hugo Kerr, who subsequently entered the Redemptorist Order and became the Provincial.

Nor was he solely a book worm. As a young man he had played football and cricket and always remained a keen and capable tennis player, as many a young Newman blood found out when he went out to the court to '”polish off Father Dom” in a couple of sets.

His activities were such that one feels that there surely must have been more than 24 hours in his day. But his intellectual activities did not come first by any means. He was first and foremost a Priest of God, and these duties he dis charged with such humility and success that he was always both in Ireland and Australia, much sought after by Religious as their Director of Retreats.

In 1916 Ireland gave up yet another of her brilliant sons to the Faith in Australia, for it was in that year Father Kelly went to Xavier, where, believe it or not, he taught, not classics or languages, but mathematics and physics. Such a varied and accomplished teacher must have been a Prefect of Studies dream.

In 1919 Father Kelly went to Newman, where he remained a Tutor for 28 years. He became and remained for the whole period of his residence, the quietest and most popular man in Newman. It would be a gross understatement to merely say that every student respected him. It is not an overstatement to say that every student loved “Old Dom” as they, not disrespectfully, referred to him in their conversations. He had the captivating charm of the genuinely humble, He was thoroughly happy at Newman, and he Tegretted very much when the time came to retire" to Pymble. He slipped off to Pymble as quietly as if he were going for one of his bicycle rides.

In his quiet way he joined the students in all their activities. He attended all the matches on the oval, and he was always to be seen, bicycle and all, on the river bank at boat races. When he found that some men in college were wont to relax at a friendly game of poker, he wrote an article on “Poker Probabilities” in the college magazine of 1935. Amongst other practical advice he demonstrated the probability of a royal flush as 1 in 649,739! Is it any wonder that Newman men loved the man who while being the spiritual Father to so many could still take a keen, intelligent and sympathetic interest in their daily lives.

Towards the close of his career at Newman, Father Kelly decided to become a botanist. He classified sea-weeds, gum trees and flowers with his usual success. It was typical that all this was practically accomplished before anyone knew that he had started.

It is impossible to do justice to Father Kelly in these short notes. The writer has tried to recall his attainments which we had long since taken for granted. But above all Father Kelly was a humble priest, whose constant aim io this life was to serve God and give back to Elim the fruits of the great intellect with, which he was endowed. He was in all his labours a “humble giant”. RIP

The Xaverian, Melbourne

Kennedy, Richard J, 1906-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/216
  • Person
  • 08 November 1906-22 August 1986

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father R. Kennedy, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Richard Kennedy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died of cancer in St. Teresa’s Hospital on Friday, 22 August 1986, aged 79.

Father Kennedy was born in Ireland on 8 November 1906. He joined the Jesuit noviciate in 1924 and spent the years 1933-36 in Hong Kong as a scholastic. He returned to Ireland for theology and ordination. World War II delayed his return to Hong Kong, so he took up work as a British Army chaplain in 1941.

Within a few months he was a prisoner of war - in Singapore first, and later in Japan and Manchuria. In later life he spoke little of this period, but that little showed clearly that he retained throughout all difficulties a high spirit, veering at times towards reckless courage.

After the war he went to Canton for language study and pastoral work. After the Communist take-over his high spirit got him into trouble with the authorities. He spent a short-time in prison and was expelled form China. Thus he returned to Hong Kong.

He taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, until he reached the official age for retirement. After that he taught in Newman College until the last remnants of his strength had gone. When he could no longer face a classroom he stayed on as spiritual guide to the students.

About two years ago, doctors in Ireland diagnosed cancer and advised him to remain in his native country, but Hong Kong had become his home and he insisted on coming back to do his last work here and to die here.

Archbishop Dominic Tang, S.J., led the concelebrated Mass of the resurrection in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and officiated at the graveside at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Tuesday, 26 August.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 August 1986

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986

Obituary

Fr Richard Kennedy (1906-1924-1986) (Macau-Hong Kong

The 8th November 1906: born in Co Dublin. 1917--21 Belvedere, 1921-24 Clongowes.
1st September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviceship. 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1926-27 home studies, 1927-30 at UCD: BA in English language and literature). 1930-33 philosophy: 1930-31 at Tullabeg, 1931-33 at Valkenburg, Netherlands.
1933-36 Hong Kong, regency: Regional seminary, studying Chinese and teaching mathematics; Wah Yan, Robinson road, teaching.
1936-40 Milltown Park, theology (31st July 1939: ordained a priest). 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1941-47 chaplain to British army and prisoner of war: 1941-42 Singapore, which in Feb. 1942 was captured by the Japanese. Taken as prisoner to Changi, for six months; 1942-44 a mining camp in Taiwan (Formosa); Fukuoka, Japan, for two months; spring to mid-September, 1945, in Manchuria; then released. End of 1945: to Ireland for recuperation. Feb. 1946-Mar, 1947: chaplain to British army of the Rhine; then demobilised. Six months furlough.
1947-48 Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching. 1948-53 Canton (under Communist government from 1949), teaching in university/Shing Sam/ Sacred Heart college. 11th August-25th September 1953: imprisoned, then expelled to Hong Kong, where he under went an operation. A year's rest and recuperation in Ireland.
1955-86 Wah Yan, Kowloon: teach ing: 1955-71 in WYKL (1955-64 directing boys' club), 1971-85 in Newman College (1985-86 spiritual counsellor there). 22nd August 1986: died.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Father Richard Kennedy SJ (1921)

Dick Kennedy was born in Dublin in 1906. He was at Belvedere 1917-21. He went from Junior Grade to Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. He had the usual Jesuit formation: novitiate in Tullabeg; BA in English at UCD, from Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy in Tullabeg and, for two years, at Valkenburg, Holland; regency in Hong Kong, spent in the Regional Seminary, where he studied the language and taught mathematics, and in Wah Yan College as a teacher; theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained on July 31st 1939. He made his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

Immediately afterwards he joined the British Army as a chaplain in Singapore. He became a prisoner of war when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 and remained in captivity until the war ended. For six months he was at Changi in Singapore, then in a mining camp in Formosa until 1944, then in Fukoka (Japan) for a few months, and finally for six months in Manchuria, before release and return home to recuperate from his experiences. He rejoined the British Army on the Rhine 1946-47 until demobilisation,

After a year teaching at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, he was sent to teach in Canton in 1948. The Communist government took, over the city a year later but Dick continued working until he was arrested in August 1953 and expelled in late September back to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo an operation.

Restored by a year's recuperation at home, he returned in 1955 to Kowloon, where he spent the rest of his long life at Wah Yan. He taught in the College until 1971 and at Newman College until 1985. His last year was spent as spiritual counsellor at Newman.

During his final illness, he had many visitors in hospital: priests, sisters, past students whom he had taught or baptised, poor people he had befriended and helped. His rector, Fr Fred Deignan, writes:

“Fr. Dick in his humility never spoke very much about the many people he knew and helped, instructed and baptised. He must have suffered a lot during his internment under the Japanese but I'm sure that he gave very much help, hope and courage to his many fellow-prisoners. He was always very good to the poor and those in trouble. He loved young people and was happiest when they were around him”.

He died on August 22nd 1986. The funeral Mass was concelebrated by a large number of his brother-Jesuits, led by his friend from their difficult days together in Canton, Archbishop Dominic Tang SJ, who preached the homily. Among the many present was a group of Catholics from Canton, some of whom had been imprisoned for years because they were members of the Legion of Mary. “This was just a sign”, as Fr. Deignan writes, “that a great number of people loved and revered in”.

His younger brother Dermot died a few months before him. To all his family, especially Fr Denis P (Paddy), a former rector of Belvedere, our most sincere sympathy on their loss.

Kieran, Laurence J, 1881-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/221
  • Person
  • 22 April 1881-18 January 1945

Born: 22 April 1881, Rathbrist, County Louth
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 18 January 1945, St John of God's Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin vommunity at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 2 March 1931-7 September 1941.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-name-bugs/

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 3 1934

On 14th May the following notice was sent by Father Socius to all the Houses of the Irish Province. : “Rev. Father Provincial (Kieran) has been ordered a period of rest by his doctor, and in the meantime, with Father General's approval, Father Cyril Power has been appointed to act as Vice-Provincial.”

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Fr. John R. MacMahon, Rector of Milltown Park since August. 1938. was appointed Provincial by Very Rev. Fr. General on 8th September. The best wishes and fervent prayers of the Province are tendered to him on his elevation to his new post of responsibility.
The best thanks of the Province follow the outgoing Provincial Fr Kieran, whose fidelity to duty, understanding ways and kindly charity during the many wears in which he guided the destinies of our Province will long be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. A special feature of his humanity was the quite remarkable devotion and charity which he ever showed to our sick.
We wish him many years of fruitful work for God’s glory and much happiness in his new post as Director of the Retreat, House Rathfarnham Castle.
Fr. Patrick Joy was appointed Vice-Superior of the Hong Kong Mission on 29th July.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Laurence J. Kieran (1881-1898-1945)

Fr. Kieran, Instructor of Tertians and a former Provincial of our Irish Province, died in Dublin very suddenly on 18th January, 1945. Travelling in the forenoon of that day (which was the Tertians' villa day) in a Bus on the Stillorgan Road, he had a heart seizure and died almost immediately. A Franciscan, who providentially happened to be a fellow-passenger, gave him the final absolution, and shortly after wards he was anointed by the chaplain of St. John of God's, Stillorgan. He was dead on admission to St. Michael's Hospital, Dunleary.
Born at Rathbrist, Co. Louth, on 22nd April, 1881, he was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 7th September, 1898. Having completed his novitiate and two years of rhetoric there, he made his philosophical studies at Gemert in Holland from 1902 to 1905, and then began his career as master and prefect in his alma mater, Clongowes. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 26th July, 1914, by the Most Rev. Dr. Brownie, Bishop of Cloyne. On the completion of his tertianship, under Fr. Ignatius Garlan as Instructor, at Tullabeg, he succeeded the late Fr. James Daly as Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, a post he held till 1925. After spending a year at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister and Procurator, he was transferred to Mungret College where he was appointed Rector on 31st July, 1927. He was made Provincial in March, 1931, and governed the Province for over ten years. When Fr. Henry Keane returned to his Province to take up the post of Rector of Heythrop College, Fr. Kieran succeeded him as Instructor of Tertians at Rathfarnham Castle in the autumn of 1942; he had been Director of the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, after relinquishing the post of Provincial.
Fr. Kieran's unexpected death caused great grief throughout the Province of which he was such an exemplary, efficient, loyal and kindly member. The principal note of his spiritual life was his unfailing meticulous fidelity to his spiritual exercises from the days of the noviceship to the sudden close of his life.
He was an indefatigable WORKER, with a tremendous sense of duty; and it was the happy combination of these two characteristics which rendered him so efficient. No pains were too great when there was question of duty, whether that city was study, teaching or administration. Though not gifted with outstanding philosophical ability, he studied so methodically and consistently that he occupied a very high. place in a very good class in the French Philosophate at Gemert and was more than once chosen to defend theses or make objections in the usual public disputations, acquitting himself well. Studying in the same manner at Militown Park, he completed a very good course of Theology. Though not much of a reader, he would study and read with meticulous care all that his work demanded. And this was true of him as a teacher, as prefect of studies, as Provincial and as Instructor of Tertians. He was always perfectly prepared for any tasks assigned him by Superiors.
His LOYALTY to the Society and to his own Province in particular was admirable. In Gemert, in the olden days, he was always instilling into the minds of his companions of the Irish Province the need of giving a perfect example of observance and hard work to the members of other Provinces. He scouted the idea of any Irish scholastic asking for any dispensation from common life. He led the way by his own example, and his inspiration had not only a striking effect on his Irish companions but established also a tradition, which continued when he left.
Fr. Kieran was a very LOVABLE companion, whether as an ordinary member of a community, or as a Superior. He was unusually homely and natural and sincere, and these qualities shone with special lustre in him when in office and made it particularly easy for all his subjects to approach him without embarrassment. He was full of common sense and understanding. He loved to laugh and to see others laugh, told a story excellently, and, in his younger days showed a great gift of acting.
As a SCHOLASTIC at Clongowes from 1905 till 1911, Mr. Kieran (as he then was) had charge of College theatricals in addition to strenuous work in Line or Class-room. Past students will still retain vivid recollections of the success he achieved as producer of plays like ‘Guy Mannering,’ The Ticket of Leave Man,' operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan To this sphere of 'side-shows,' as he used later call them, he devoted the same meticulous care in preparation and rehearsal which he brought to the more serious duties of his calling.
Returning to CLONGOWES as a young priest, he served a short apprenticeship under Fr. James Daly, the famous Prefect of studies, before he inherited his mantle, and with it that singleness of purpose and devotion to duty which continued to be rewarded with great successes in the public examinations. As confessor, too, of the boys he exerted the widest influence for good, and won that affectionate which prompted so many of them to turn to him for help and guidance in the trials and perplexities of life.
Fr. Kieran's transfer from Clongowes in 1925 came as a surprise to many, including himself. Providence, however, through his Superiors was preparing him for the heavier responsibilities which lay ahead. At Rathfarnham and Mungret he was to acquire an experience in the details of administration and in the handling of new and delicate problems which was to be so useful to him some years later when called upon to govern the Province As RECTOR OF MUNGRET College Fr. Kieran took his responsibilities very seriously. While allowing subordinate officials every scope for initiative, he retained a personal and active direction of every department of school life. His talks to the boys at the beginning of the school year and of each new term, setting forth the lofty purpose of life and the opportunities they were being afforded of developing their God-given talents, made a deep and lasting impression on their young minds. He got to know each boy personally and used every occasion for individual guidance. He taught classes himself, especially in religious knowledge and in philosophy, fostered proficiency in Irish with wise solicitude and no mean success, as is attested by the remarkable results Mungret pupils attained more than once during his term of office at the Thomond Feis in the matter of Irish conversation and dialogue. He never failed to put in an appearance at games on half-days, at concerts and other school entertainments.
The same kindly interest he extended to the APOSTOLIC SCHOOL, with whose Superior he ever remained in the closest and most cordial touch. He gave monthly talks to the apostolics, which were greatly appreciated, as not a few have testified in later life. He erected a two storey building for them, to serve as study-hall, class-rooms, dormitory, kept in close touch with past alumni, promoted the founding of a magazine to link them more closely with their alma mater. In these and other ways he made apostolic students, past and present, feel that the Society, faithful to the best traditions of Mungret Apostolic School, was promoting its true interests to the utmost. The historic visit to Mungret on 21st July, 1928, of the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda did but confirm these happy impressions : Cardinal Van Rossum, O.SS.R., was visiting Limerick for the jubilee celebrations of the men's Confraternity in the Redemptorist Church, and came out to Mungret at Fr. Kieran's invitation. Before returning, His Eminence left in writing a gracious message of appreciation of the work of the Apostolic School and his blessing, and consented to be photo graphed. These photos were later sent Very Rev. Fr. General at Frascati, where the Curia were in sun mer residence, and occasioned him the liveliest satisfaction and pleasure.
On a day in early February, 1931. Fr. Fahy journeyed from Limerick to tell Fr. Kieran that he had been chosen to succeed him as PROVINCIAL. This news was a heavy blow to the Rector who could not contain his tears of emotion and apprehension at the burden to be laid on his shoulders. His only comfort was the assurance Fr. Fahy gave him that he would govern the Province in the same constitutional way in which he had administered Mungret College.
In this new post which he was to hold for ten years (1931-1941), Fr. Kieran's exceptional talents for ADMINISTRATION were given their widest scope. These may be particularised as prudence and practical judgment joined to a rare dexterity and vigour in the conduct of affairs. From his high sense of duty, coupled with his love for the Society, flowed the determination which enabled him to master so completely the details of his exacting and responsible office. Indeed, at the beginning of his Provincialate he tended to overdo his reading of the Institute during free hours, and to neglect his health, which suffered for some years from overstrain. On three occasions (in August, 1931, in the beginning of the following year and in the summer of 1934), a Vice-Provincial had to be appointed in order to allow him a complete rest. Thereafter his health was quite robust and enabled him to put in a further period of over seven years of strenuous activity and achievement.
Many IMPORTANT EVENTS Occurred during his term of office : the separation (prepared by his predecessor) from the Irish Province of Australia which became an independent Vice-Province (5th April, 1931): the world economic depression so severely felt in the first years of his Provincialate during which he implemented Fr. General's recommendations for succouring the distressed poor, the International Eucharistic Congress at Dublin in June, 1932, during which he led the way in extending to many. Prelates and members of Foreign Provinces of the Society that remarkable hospitality which drew from Fr. General a special letter of appreciation the celebrations in connection with the Centenary of St. Francis Xavier's Church and with the Golden Jubilee of Mungret Apostolic School, both of which fell in the summer of 1932. The completion of the new building in Clongowes, the extension of the Theologians wing and erection of a fully-equipped library on the most modern lines at Milltown Park, the opening of the Language School at Loyola, Hong Kong (September, 1937), the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war (1937), the fourth Centenary of the foundation of the Society (1940-41), the outbreaks of the world war the previous year, which necessitated many adjustments, such as the recalling from Houses abroad of our scholastics, the reception into the Province of members of continental Provinces and Missions, the sending of military Chaplains to the Forces, the providing at very short notice of a Tertianship in the Province, (October, 1939), when Fr. Kieran's dynamic energy was never shown to better advantage. He presided at the three Provincial Congregations held in 1933, 1936 and 1938. the last of which was preparatory to the General Congregation held in Rome, at which he assisted.
The outstanding QUALITIES which Fr. Kieran admired so much in the late Fr. Ledóchowski he possessed himself in a marked degree : a supernatural outlook upon all the problems be had to handle, a burning zeal for the interests of the Church and our Society, a definite conviction that our way to God and to success in our apostolic ministry lay in the acquiring of the true spirit of St. Ignatius, in observance of our rules, fidelity to Ignatian asceticism and those spiritual arms God has confided to our Society : the Spiritual Exercises, devotion to the Sacred Heart through the Apostleship of Prayer, devotion to Our Lady through the Sodality, accuracy in sizing up a situation, and remarkable skill and prudence in advising as to the steps to be taken, a deep sympathy and understanding which enabled him to make allowance for human weakness and human shortcomings while at the same time standing firm where questions of principle and observance of the rules were involved, finally, accuracy and expedition in the transaction of business.
He WORKED TIRELESSLY for the promoting of vocations to our novice ship and for the spiritual advancement of our young men with whom he kept in close touch, made wise provision for the training of professors in our scholasticates, and showed ever a great readiness to oblige His Paternity by sending subjects, as occasion demanded, to the Curia or the Gregorian University. The Hong Kong Mission he promoted to the utmost, and was rewarded by repeated commendation, from Fr. General for the quality and number of the missioners he sent out, with no small sacrifice to the Province. Towards the needs of other Provinces he showed a practical sympathy and to their members who came to Ireland an overflowing charity, which called forth letters of appreciation from their Provincials.
Fr. Kieran was a great believer in the utility of CONFERENCES, held in order to discuss the various problems connected with our work and ministry. He presided at the four he convened in Dublin (in the years 1933, 1936, 1937 and 1941) to discuss the work of our missions and retreats, the development of the Sodality and Apostleship of Prayer and Catholic Action.
Fruit of such Meetings were the BOOKLET he issued in 1938 on the method of adapting the Exercises to various categories of exercitants, the Report on Catholic Action in the Province (1936), the printed Instructions he gave from time to time containing detailed recommendations to missioners, sodality directors, promoters of Catholic Action.
The COLLEGES, of whose working and study programmes he had such accurate knowledge, came in for a large share of his solicitude. Arising out of the Commission appointed by his predecessor to examine the status of our Colleges, he issued in December, 1934, an important document, entitled 'A Memorandum on Aims and Methods in the Colleges,' In November of the same year he appointed an Inspector of the Colleges; and, to implement later one of the Decrees of the General Congregation (1938), set up a Concilium Permanens to advise Superiors on the problems connected with programmes and co-ordination among our Colleges of studies of the pre-examination classes, supervised the proper training of the scholastics during the years of their magisterium and furthered measures to improve a working know ledge of Irish for masters. In September, 1938, he appointed a Committee to advise on the introduction of scholastic philosophy in our schools. Two Conferences he convened in 1935 and 1937) to discuss school problems, and be prepared the material for that useful booklet issued later. 'Hints on the Colleges' for masters and prefects,
In connection with the carrying out of DECREES OF THE GENERAL CONGREGATION already referred to, Fr. Kieran convened in December, 1938, a Meeting of Rectors, and also appointed & Committee to draw up a draft Ordinatio studiorum inferiorum for the Juniorate studies. He had previously sent to Rome a draft Custom Book of the Province for consideration by Fr. General, as well as one for the Novitiate at St. Mary's.
With his practical and thorough-going knowledge of the details of FINANCE, and his desire for greater uniformity in matters touching temporal administration, Fr. Kieran warmly welcomed Fr. Ledóchowski's Instructio de administratione Temporali, issued in 1935. In forwarding Superiors copies of this document he wrote a very able letter to them, drawing attention to its main provisions. Not content with this, he later made a detailed synopsis of the Instructio, in three parts, for the use of Superiors, Ministers, and Procurators respectively, and issued in 1937 a useful Memorandum on the Duties of Minister and Procurator.
In fine, there was no province of our life and ministry which did not benefit by Fr. Kieran's wise and able administration.
Though Fr. Kieran could, and often did, write a forthright and vigorously worded letter, especially to Superiors, his pen was NEVER HARSH or intemperate. And if his correspondence ever hurt, and it did sometimes, the effect was speedily neutralised and forgotten by a personal approach and interview. Then it was that his affectionate heart and understanding humanity were shown to such advantage. This warm humanity made many conquests during his life in the Society, among the boys with whom he had to deal at Clongowes and Mungret, so many of whom kept in touch with him in later life, among the staff' or farm hands, in the houses in which he lived (who for him were never 'hands,' servants,' but, very personally, 'Joe,' or 'Bill,' or 'Bridgie'), among the exercitants at Rathfarnham Castle during the all too brief period he was Director of the Retreat-House there, among his own brethren most of all, especially the scholastics and, in the closing years of his life, the Tertian Fathers with whom he lived on such fondly intimate and brotherly relationship, in that simple naturalness and humility which was his special characteristic.
In an early issue of the Clongownian' we are given a glimpse of L. Kieran, the SCHOOL-BOY chosen for a principal part in the 'Mikado'; This is how a visitor to the College on the night of the entertainment wrote of him :
“L. Kieran as Pooh-Bah could scarcely have been surpassed by any amateur. Without much voice, he went through his songs with skill and taste. But it is his acting which will have won for him a bright place in the memory of all who saw him. Simple naturalness, un marred by any excess of stage gestures or declamation, was his characteristic. There was no straining after effect. He came on and went off, he spoke and was silent, as if he was only moved by his own individual will in such matters, and had never seen such a thing as a stage edition of the play”.
On the wider stage of life Fr. Kieran played his part with the same simple naturalness, the same self-restraint and self-effacement. And when the curtain fell with such tragic suddenness at the close, he passed away, leaving a host of friends, sorrow-stricken, it is true, but inspired by his example to play their parts, shoulder their responsibilities, as he had done with a like simplicity and naturalness, with the same detachment from self, the same consideration for others and the same heroic devotion to duty.
May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Laurence Kieran SJ 1881-1945
Fr Laurence Kieran will go down in the history of the Province as the man who ruled its destinies for over ten years, a record among Provincials of his own day, and certainly a record in the history of the Irish province.

Born at Rathbrist, County Louth on April 22nd 1881, he was educated at Clongowes, entering the Society in 1898.

At the conclusion of his training, he was chosen to succeed Fr James Daly as Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, an appointment which was no mean compliment in itself. He became Rector of Mungret in 1927, and eventually Provincial in 1931 to 1942.

Many important events took place during his term of office. The Mission of Australia became an independent Vice-Province in 1931. He celebrated the Centenary of Gardiner Street Church and the Golden Jubilee of Mungret in 1942. The new building was completed in Clongowes, the Theologian's Wing was extended at Milltown and the new Library built. He founded the Language School at Loyola, Hong Kong, and finally celebrated the fourth Centenary of the Society in 1940.

After relinquishing office in 1942, he became Instructor of Tertians. His end came quite suddenly on January 18th 1945,

He was a man dedicated to God, the Society and his work.

◆ The Clongownian, 1945

Obituary

Father Laurence Kieran SJ

Many people on taking up the morning paper of Friday, January the 19th, must have received a profound shock as they read the announcement of Fr L Kieran's sudden death in Dublin. Although he had been under the Doctor's care during the year for rheumatic trouble, there was nothing to cause anxiety, certainly nothing to indicate that death was so near. A member of the Rathfarnham Community who met him as he walked down the avenue for the last time, was struck by his brisk step, his vivacity and excellent spirits.

At D'Olier Street, Fr Kieran took the Mount Merrion Bus, with the intention of visiting his sister Mrs L McCann, who lives at Stillorgan Park, Blackrock. Nearing Booterstown Avenue, he was seen to be in distress, and, very soon after, he collapsed from a severe heart attack, He was immediately attended by the Rev Father Eustace OFM, Merchant's Quay, Dublin, fortunately a fellow passenger. The Bus drew up at the gate of St John of God's, Stillorgan where every assistance was rendered by Rev Br de Sales (resident Doctor of the House, and brother of Fr Whitaker SJ), and by the resident Chaplain who administered Extreme Unction.

The remains were removed by ambulance to the Sisters of Mercy Hospital, St Michael's, Dun Laoghaire. Office and Solemn Requiem, at which the Very Rev J R MacMahon SJ, Provincial, was celebrant, took place on Saturday, January 20th, The Right Rev Monsignor Dunne PP, VG, presiding. The Sacred Music was rendered by the Choir of Milltown Park. The general attedance included Mr de Valera, Mr Little, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, W. T. Cosgrave, &c. The Clongowes Union was represented by Messrs J V Doyle, J O'Mara, and W D Frisby.

Fr Kieran was born in Rathbrist, Co Louth, on April 22nd, 1881, where, in the bosom of a deeply religious family, were laid the foundations of that spirit of faith which sustained him through life, and led him to see the loving hand God in everything. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, went to Tullabeg for the Noviceship and Juniorate, and then studied for three years in the French House of Philosophy, at Gemert, Holland. He worked as prefect and Master in Clongowes from 1905 to I911. In addition to the constant arduous work in the Classroom, he took charge of the College Theatricals. The Past have vivid recollections of the marked success with which he produced “Guy Mannering”, :The Ticket-of-leave Man”, and the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

After his Ordination at Milltown Park and Tertianship in Tullabeg, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, in succession to Fr James Daly, whose great work he carried on with remarkable efficiency and success. In 1925 he was Minister and Procurator in Rathfarnham Castle, before going to Mungret College, Limerick, where he became Rector in 1927. In March, 1930, he was made Provincial, a position he held for more than eleven years, years embracing the Eucharistic Congress and the beginnings of the disastrous World War, His tenure of office was marked by prudence and practical judgment, combined with a rare skill in the conduct of affairs.

The outbreak of the war necessitated the closing of St Bueno's, North Wales, and obliged Fr Kieran to open, at very short notice, the Tertianship at home, He set himself to the task with his accustomed energy, and guided and ably assisted by his great friend, Fr Henry Keane, of the English Province, he had the satisfaction of seeing the Tertianship established at Rathfarnham Castle, September the 30th, 1939. He himself was Instructor of Tertians at the time of his death.

When Fr MacMahon became Provincial, Fr Kieran was placed in charge of the Retreat House, Rathfarnham. Here, his zeal, his homeliness and his desire to help made a deep impression on the minds of the exercitants, many of whom came back during the year to lay their troubles before him, to consult him in their difficulties, sure of a sympathetic hearing, certain to go away comforted and encouraged. What a shock it must have been for these worthy men when they learned that Fr Kieran was dead!

When Fr “Willie” Doyle was a Master at Clongowes in 1898, he produced the “Mikado”, and picked out L J Kieran for a principal part. A visitor to the College on the night of the entertainment wrote “L. Kieranas Pooh-Bah could scarcely have been surpassed by any amateur. Without much voice, he went through his songs with skill and taste. But, it is his acting which will have won for him a bright place in the memory of all who saw him. Simple naturalness, unmarred by any excess of stage gestures or declamation, was his characteristic. There was no straining after effect. He came on and went off, he spoke and was silent, as if he was only moved by his own individual will in such matters, and had never seen such a thing as a stage
edition of the play”.

On the wider stage of after-years, just as at school, Fr Kieran played his part with the same simple naturalness, the same self-restraint, the same self-effacement. And when the curtain fell in the last tragic scene, he passed away, leaving a host of friends, grief-stricken it is true, but inspired by his example to shoulder their responsibilities, to play their parts as he had done with such singular detach ment from self, such heroic devotion to duty.

To his sister Mrs L McCann, and to his brother, Mr Robert Kieran, we offer our sincerest sympathy in their great bereavement.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1945

Obituary

Father Laurence Kieran SJ

The Past boys who were at Mungret during the years 1926-31 will learn with deep regret of the death of Father Kieran which occurred with dramatic suddenness at Stillorgan on January 19th, 1945. Father Kieran, who was travelling in a bus, had a sudden seizure; a priest gave a last absolution and after a short time the Sacrament of Extreme Unction was administered.

Born at Rathbrist in Co Louth in 1881, Father Kieran was educated at Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Novitiate in 1898 and passing through the usual course of studies was ordained at Milltown Park in 1914 and then went back to Clongowes as Master and, later, was Prefect of Studies there.

In 1926 he came to Mungret to direct the Studies. He came as a stranger but it was not long till he had an assured place in the heart of the school. His grasp of essentials and his attention to details, his: extraordinary kindness as well as his firmness, when that was called for, endeared him to the boys. Her gave himself completely to his work and the results of the public examinations showed that a master hand was at the wheel.

In the following year he became Rector and it is no truism to say that his zeal and energy made themselves felt in every department of the College. Accommodation was wanted, so he added the New Wing, thus improving the Study Hall for the Lay Boys, increasing the number of classrooms, and giving the Philosophers a new Dormitory. Other schemes to build new refectories; to erect boot rooms; and to improve. the dormitories were in hand, when Father Kieran was called away to be Provincial. During his time as Provinciai he was always interested in the progress of Mungret and one could always count on his interest and encouragement in any scheme for its betterment.

These improvements will always be associated with the name of Father Kieran. But his great work was in fields whose harvests cannot be measured in this world. For he realised that his prime work was to lead. the young to their Heavenly Father, by firmness, if necessary, with kindness always. His genial manner made him a very approachable character, one to whomn boys could speak without fear or reserve. His constant interest in their families, their studies, their games, and their hobbies made them realise that bere was one who was genuine in his desire for their welfare and their happiness. They felt that he, who could so appreciate their boyish interests, could also console them in their sorrows and support them in their troubles.

His authority with boys came, one felt, not so much from his position as Rector but from their instinctive appreciation that his decisions were based on a ripe and rich experience of a boy's mind and world. It was the very “humanity” of the Rector which made them willing to seek and to follow his advice. One of the joys of his later life was when some young friend of former days called on him and they both re-lived their days in Mungret. The Philosophers became in particular his intimate friends and after their ordination they called to give tbeir blessing to him who had so helped them on the road to the priesthood. Reading the letters that came to Mungret on the death of Father Kieran, one cannot help noticing the sense of personal loss which the writers tried to express. They would all endorse the words of one of his past students, now a Monsignor in America: “To all of us he was a devoted father and a model of priestliness”.

His kindness and courtesy were always in evidence in his dealings with the old retainers of the College. He had at all times a kind word for them and his solicitude for them and their families eamed for him their gratitude and their prayers.

To those who mourn the passing of Father Kieran we offer our sincerest sympathy. RIP

Rooms at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly (top floor) named 'Tuck's Terrace' after Kieran, when as Provincial, he partitioned the rooms (whose walls shook in the wind) to make space.

Lawler, Brendan, 1909-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/515
  • Person
  • 29 October 1909-16 June 1993

Born: 29 October 1909, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 16 June 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

Eldest Brother of Donald - RIP 1984 and Ray - RIP 2001

Early education at Clongowes Wood College Sj

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain,the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 77 : Summer 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Brendan Lawler (1909-1993)

29th Oct. 1909; Born, Bunclody, Co. Wexford
Early education: Clongowes Wood College
Ist Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1928 - 1932: Rathfarnham - studying Science (biology) at UCD
1932 - 1935: Valkenburg, Holland, studying Philosophy
1935 - 1938: Innsbruck, studying Theology
17th July 1938: Ordained at Innsbruck
1939 - 1940: Tertianship, Rathfarnham
1940 - 1941: Tullabeg, Professor of Cosmology and Biology
1941 - 1943: 35 Lower Leeson Street, Private Study
1943 - 1962: Tullabeg - Professor of Cosmology and Biology. (From 1953 - '59 he was Rector)
1962 - 1968: Loyola House - Socius to Provincial
1968 - 1992; Milltown Park: Secretary, Institute of Theology/Philosophy, and Lecturer (Philosophy), (1982 Assistant Registrar)
1993: Cherryfield Lodge. Hospitalised in The Royal, Donnybrook and then in Our Lady's Hospice.
16th June 1993. Died Our Lady's Hospice.

For many members of the Irish Province the name of Brendan Lawlor is synonymous with memories of the philosophate in Tullabeg, Once can see him still on a dark day in the tiered lecture-room, reading from the yellowing pages of his cosmology notes or play-acting as to whether the continuum could be found in the drawer or under the table. These memories can be crowned with those of drowsy afternoon sessions with diverting slides portraying the innards of the amoeba. In retrospect one can only admire the patience and endurance of those who, after years of no mean scholastic attainment, accepted from the Society the “world without event” of life in Tullabeg.

Brendan had a distinguished scholastic career behind him when he came to Tullabeg as Professor of Cosmology and Biology in the autumn of 1943. He was one of those “stars” who had been picked out for a four-year Juniorate (1928-1932), ending up with a MSc in biology. In the autumn of 1932 he made his way with Con Lonergan to do his philosophy with the exiled Germans in Valkenburg, and then in 1935 both of them went on to join Donal O'Sullivan for theology in Innsbruck. It was typical of the man that he could spend those years so close to the drama of the rise of Hitler and the Anschluss of Austria and so rarely speak of these momentous events afterwards. Even the theology of the times was rarely mentioned by him, though Innsbruck in those years was the centre of “kerygmatic theology” and of the liturgical and catechetical renewal spearheaded by JA Jungmann. Within a short time of Brendan's leaving Innsbruck the house in Sillgasse was turned into the headquarters of the Gestapo, but Brendan by that time was safely back in Ireland doing further studies in Leeson Street.

It will come as a surprise to most people to realize that by far the longest period Brendan spent in one place was not Tullabeg but Milltown Park. He spent nineteen years in Tullabeg at a stretch, being Rector there from 1953 to 1959. He left the midlands in 1962 to become Socius to the Provincial (1962-68), and after those six years in Eglinton Road was assigned to Milltown Park, where he was to spend the next quarter of a century. For many years during this period he did some teaching in the area of logic, but his principal task was to look after the administrative staff of the Institute and to keep the scholastic records of the students. He was also responsible for organizing what came to be called “Saturday Theology”, a very successful programme of lectures for extra-mural students which, over a period of twenty years, introduced innumerable religious and laity to the mysteries of Vatican II.

For a person who in many respects was the quintessence of predictability, Brendan could be a source of hidden talents. The last instance of this came about only a few weeks before his death, when his community was presented with an amazingly competent landscape which Brendan had painted during occupational therapy in the hospice. Who would have thought that we had another Paul Henry in our midst? Then there was his early interest in the scriptures, which eventually bore fruit in his book, Epistles in Focus, widely read in Ireland at the time, and for many years the only scholarly book on scripture by a member of the Province. During his years as Professor in Tullabeg, he rarely, if ever, published anything in philosophy, but in his final years in Milltown he had some published work in Milltown Studies, includ ing one article of which he was particularly proud, “The Star of Implication” (Milltown Studies, no.5).

Those who knew Brendan in the two main periods of his life, that in Tullabeg and that in Milltown, will have been struck by the contrast between the two, especially if one was a scholastic in the earlier period. In Tullabeg he seemed constrained by the stricter regime of the times. In Milltown his natural humour and spirit of companionship blossomed, so that he became one of the most appreciated members of the community. He maintained amazingly good health, even after retirement, and took a great interest in all that was happening in the world, not least in the world of sport, Brendan before the television-set, with cigarette in hand, was one of the fixtures of Milltown life during those years. This continued up to the time that the onset of Parkinson's necessitated his hospitalization. The decline that set in developed with a speed that surprised us all. The disease took him from us within a matter of months, and so he died at the impressive age of 83. May he rest
in peace.

Ray Moloney

Lehmacher, Gustav, 1885-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1566
  • Person
  • 03 June 1885-26 January 1963

Born: 03 June 1885, Walluf, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
Entered: 13 April 1904, Exaeten, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 27 August 1916
Professed: 02 February 1920
Died: 26 January 1963, Maring-Noviand, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER)

by 1940 came to Leeson St (HIB) writing and Censor 1939-1946
by 1947 came to Tullabeg (HIB) writing 1946-1948

Little, Arthur, 1897-1949, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/32
  • Person
  • 31 March 1897-05 December 1949

Born: 31 March 1897, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, t Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 05 December 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA Classics, 1st Class Honours at UCD

by 1924 in Australia - Regency at Riverview, Sydney
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
As a regent, Arthur Little taught at Riverview, 1923-26, where the bright and brash Riverview boys turned his classes into chaos. After tertianship at St Beuno's, Little spent the major part of his life as a philosophy professor at Tullabeg. He was a very skilled thinker as well as being an excellent musician and wrote on aesthetics and poetry.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 1 1950

Obituary

Fr. Arthur Little (1897-1914-1949)

Fr. Arthur Little was born in Dublin on 31st March, 1897. He was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes. His early life in the Society followed the usual course : Noviceship (Tullabeg) 1914-16; then Juniorate (Tullabeg 1 year, Rathfarnham 3 years) where he obtained a first class Honours M.A. in Classics ; Philosophy (Milltown) 1920-23 ; Colleges (Riverview) 23-26; Theology (Milltown) 26-30, where he was ordained Most Rev. Dr. Goodier, S.J; Tertianship (St. Beuno's), his Instructor being Fr. Joseph Bolland, the present English Assistant.
Prior to Tertianship he taught for one year in Clongowes; after it he professed Philosophy - Psychology and Theodicy - for 14 years in Tullabeg (1932-46). From 1946 to his death he was in Leeson St, as “Scriptor”. The mortal disease which brought about his premature death at the height of his powers, prevented him from taking up a professorship of Theology at Milltown Park, to which the 1949 Status bad assigned him. He died on 5th December.

Works :
An Epic Poem on the Passion : “Christ Unconquered”.
Broadcast talks on Catholic Philosophy : “Philosophy without Tears”
“The Nature of Art or The Shield of Pallas”.

Shortly before his death he had completed a detailed study of Plato's influence on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas : “The Platonic Heritage of Thomism”. This book will be published shortly. An advanced copy of it reached Fr. Little a few days before his death. He was a regular contributor to “Studies”, “Irish Monthly” and other periodicals.

An Appreciation :
In the premature death of Fr. Arthur Little, after months of severe suffering, the Province has lost its most brilliant member. He possessed a remarkably wide range of gifts and some of them in a high degree. He was a classical scholar, a philosopher, a poet, a musician, a critic of art, a writer, a wit. So remarkable an endowment yould easily have made him a rather formidable person one to be admired from a distance, were these gifts not completed and balanced by an irrespressible sense of humour and an oddity and whimsicality of manner and demeanour which made him. emphatically a “character”, and a most loveable one at that. For twelve years he was professor of philosophy at Tullabeg, and he did more than any other one man to build up in that infant scholasticate a tradition of sound, solid doctrine. His first subject was psychology, but he soon came to theodicy which was his favourite treatise. He had arrived in Tullabeg without any very definite system but with a certain leaning to Scotism. But, after a short contact with the senior member of the staff he was suddenly converted to Thomism. The conversion was complete and final. He entered into the thought of St. Thomas not merely without any difficulty but with enthusiasm. He was an “anima naturaliter Thomistica”. But he was singularly free from the acrimony of a convert to his abandoned oracle.
He gave himself entirely and untiringly to his work as a professor, and he was perfectly happy as a lecturer. It might be thought that a man of such imagination, a man with the sensibility of a poet, might have given play to these gifts in his treatment of philosophy. But the truth was that when he lectured on psychology or theodicy he was always the metaphysician. He gave his class pure undiluted Thomistic thought. He spared them nothing of the most rigid, the stiffest scholastic method. His lectures were close reasoned, exacting, with no appeal to the imagination. His codex was as forbidding to the unintiated as the Metaphysics of Aristotle, and it needed the comment of the master to draw out its riches. He paid his pupils the formidable compliment of considering them to be on the level of his own austere height of thought and method. And his pupils appreciated the compliment and had for him an admiration that was often an enthusiasm.
In his lectures on the history of philosophy his literary powers could find scope, and what an entertaining subject he could make of it can be judged from his broadcast talks, published as “Philosophy Without Tears”, and from his articles in Studies. He did not read widely and that was a weakness in his position, but he thought out every point in his system and had made a coherent synthesis. He was an indefatigable worker and always sat at his desk. One wondered where he got the energy for this unremitting thought on so difficult a subject. It did not seem to come from the usual sources, because he ate about as much as a robust sparrow and for weeks at a time did not stir out of the house. That devotion to his work was not the lest debt which Tullabeg owes to Fr. Arthur.
But this metaphysician was also a poet. His “Christ Unconquered” is an ambitious epic poem on the Passion. He deliberately followed the tradition of the epic, especially as handled by Virgil and Milton, with its speeches, councils, episodes. He professed to have made Virgil his model, but actually the resemblance to Milton in diction, metre and general style was evident in every page and caused the professional critics to see in it an amazingly clever imitation and thus succeeded in closing their eyes to the great merits and the true individuality of this remarkable poem. The main defect is that he has put too much theology into it and theology is a recalcitrant medium for the poet, and certainly parts of it are heavy going. But on the whole it has a great distinction of style ; and there are many passages of great beauty which will not easily die. In fact such passages suggest that his truest vein was the lyric.
But some will think that be was still greater as a prose writer. Certainly his prose, so much of which appeared in Studies and the Irish Monthly, was of a high order, strong, distinctive, brilliant, witty.
If he had been put at writing as his professional work, he would undoubtedly have become a man of wide reputation, of the eminence of Fr. D'Arcy or Mgr. Knox. But even as things fell out it looked as if his day as a writer had come when he was taken away from philosophy. He seemed to be about to reap the harvest of the long years thought and study in that little room on the top storey in Tullabeg. Books and articles began to come from his pen in the short time he spent at Leeson St. He was a regular contributor to Studies. He finished a profound philosophical study on aesthetics, “The Shield of Pallas”, and up to the last he was engaged on a study of the Platonic element in St. Thomas, an advanced copy of which was put into his hands on his death bed. The book is a genuine contribution to the subject and is the fruit of a long study of his two favourite masters. All things then pointed to a rich yield of the labours of years, when God called him.
And what can one say of those personal gifts which made him so pleasant a companion - the originality of mind, the power to see sudden and often absurd resemblances, the brilliance and wit of his conversation? His wit bubbled up spontaneously and played about all subjects and his sense of humour was irrepressible. How inadequate are a few remembered examples to convey these things to those who did not know him! He is lecturing on the nature of a spirit and has shown that they have not even the principle of extension a punctum, and then he says solemnly “We must admit reluctantly that the Angels are most unpunctual beings”. He meets a Tullabeg colleague away from home and says “Dr. Livingstone I presume”. He used to say that in a detective story and he was a regular reader of them - he hated to be fobbed off at the last page with an accident or a suicide but wanted a decent clean murder. And to the end his good humour and wit did not neglect him,
“A fellow of infinite jest, Horatio”.
We may safely conjecture that in Heaven he will spend much of his time - he would correct me and say his aevum - in the company of two St. Thomases - the Angelical Doctor and St. Thomas More.
His joyous temperament lifted him above all bitterness and there was not a grain of malice in his make-up. He was an exemplary religious. He was highly esteemed as a giver of retreats. He was a man of the highest spiritual principles, and the sufferings of the last months of his life, borne with a patience and a joyous resignation which produced a deep effect on all who came near him were a manifestation of what his religion and vocation meant to him.
“Anima eius in refrigerio”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Arthur Little 1897-1949
In the premature death of Fr Arthur Little on November 5th 1949, the Irish Province lost its most brilliant member. He was Professor for fourteen years in Tullabeg, where he built up by his zeal and talents, a tradition of solid doctrine after the mind of St Thomas.

Born in Dublin on March 31st 1897, he entered the Society in 1914, having received his education at Belvedere and Clongowes. He taught as a scholastic at St Ignatius College Sydney from 1923-1926. Having returned to Ireland for Theology, he was ordained to the priesthood at Milltown Park in 31st July 1929. He did his tertianship at St Beuno’s and was professed of four vows in 1934.

Besides lecturing in Philosophy, he wrote many works, three ofn which are well known :
“The Nature of Art” or “The Shield of Pallas”, “Philosophy without Tears” and “The Platonic Heritage in Thomism. He also published an ep[ic poem on the Passion entitled “Christ Unconquered”.

Besides being a man of remarkable literary gifts, he had a keen sense of humour and a ready wit. A man of simple piety, a model of religious life. He was lively and joyous even in his suffering, which ended in his death died on December 5th 1949.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Arthur Little SJ

My first impression of Arthur dates back to more than forty years ago, and the scene was the Belvedere Theatre during a still-remer bered production of “David Garrick”. In those spacious days the audience were entertained to tea during the interval “on the floor of the house”. Arthur, in more than usually unbecoming Etons, was a “tea-boy”. I, armed with milk and sugar, was boatswaints mate. Tea-boy is, however, not the correct word. Out of the silver pot flowed a clear stream of boiling water. It may, of course, have been an accident but if so, why was Arthur so persistent in offering it to so many guests? And it may be a fraud of memory that gives me a picture of his delighted smile at the variety of their reactions. It is surely such a trick that depicts him with free finger fluttering at the lip in a gesture of mingled consternation, delight and apology. At all events, it was the first experience of a practical joker of child-like seriousness, inexhaustible zeal and fresh imagination. He retained that sense of humour to the end. A week or two before the final sickness declared itself he had been appointed to the Professorship of Theology vacated by Fr Canavan who was similarly stricken. In hospital he commented : “I suppose this goes with the job”, and to another friend : “A chair of theology did you say? A sofa or a bed of theology is what you mean”.

One recalls these trivial jokes which like all jokes on paper lose their lustre as surely as a drying pebble, simply because at the very beginning of one's memories of this deep thinking, learned and truly ascetic character there come thoughts of his simplicity, his gaiety his child-like zest. Neither time nor studies nor pain nor illness dimmed this gleam, Arthur was most certainly gifted with a double measure of individuality. All men are unique but he was unique in a special degree and oddly enough this marked difference between him and the rest of men was changeless and perfectly true to form from beginning to end. He was not a baffling or uncertain character. When you knew Arthur, you knew not only that his reaction to any given stimulus would be original, unpredictable and exciting, but that it would also be so characteristic that when it disclosed itself you would comment - “How like Arthur!”

This, I think, came from an eccentricity which was totally without pride or pretence, and though it gloried in a very definite sort of affectation and vanity, it was at the heart's core absolutely sincere and founded on a passionate love of truth and an . instinct to "beauty.

He was at Belvedere when I came and survived me. We had later, a couple of years in Clongowes and he went thence to TCD. No one could have been less affected by the last experience of which he never spoke and personally I think of him as a product of BCD and UCD. I believe he thought so himself. At UCD he was an exceptionally brilliant student. He had only taken up Classics after his noviceship, yet his Greek mark in his BA was a record one. He had an extraordinary gift for the acquisition of the elements of any language : French, German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, English and Irish. His reading was deep as it was wide. His bedside book would be a Greek drama. In his last illness I cited an epigram written by St Peter Canisius about Bl Peter Faber: It is given in English in Fr Broderick's work and I did not know if it was originally in German or Latin. “Neither”, said Arthur off-hand - “The Greek Anthology”, and he quoted the couplet from memory as a matter of course though Canisius’ use of it was new to him. Naturally, then at College, he began to write a florid but rich prose and a great quantity of jewelled, rather exotic verse. A little life of St Isaac Jogues written at this time remains, perhaps, unsurpassed.

He went next to the study of a lifetime, his almost passionate preoccupation till the end : Philosophy. Despite his literary imagination he proved a fine metaphysician and was, of course, constantly delighted in the search for the ultimate reasons of things. Most of his working life was spent as an inspiring and industrious professor, communicating an art in which he was absorbed, and communicating it with exceptional inspiration method and success. That most important, aspect of his work and of the books that bequeath it to us I cannot hope to treat adequately here. His poetry remained a true part of him if now a sub ordinate part. With the publication of “Christ Unconquered”, an epic of the Passion of Our Lord, he challenged recognition on the very top level, to succeed in this being to succeed with the greatest and most important theme. The poem's appearance was unfortunately delayed and it was first read by an audience sated with war-suffering and definitely tired. It was much praised, but not enough. Arthur himself laughed at critics who scolded him for writing like Milton. (One of our greatest Irish Scholars reading it in MSS. exclaimed “the thought of Dante in the language of Milton”). But the poem will survive and be quite possibly more widely read a hundred years from now.

Arthur's memory too, will survive as long as any live who knew him well. For all, truly all who knew him well, loved him well and he was so sharply drawn a personality as to be quite unforgettable. Nor yet among all the wide circie who knew him and loved him could one be found who would deny that in Arthur they recognised a spirit made for another world, a being totally unworldly, lighting and warming this alien atmos phere in which God placed him for a while but to which he scarcely belonged, so that he beckons to us from that home-land where he was always at home, the country of which the Lamb is the light and His love the food and drink of one who hun gered and thirsted for justice and truth,
May he rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1950

Obituary

Father Arthur Little SJ

It is, I presume, a pathetic fallacy for Old Clongownians to believe that the generation in which they passed their days in Clongowes was far and away the best in the history of the College. Anyone who lived during the years 1911-1914 in Clongowes has more than ordinarily good reasons for thinking that there never was such as period in the history of the College. The happy death of Fr Arthur Little brings this whole period of leisured and spacious times back to memory.

He came to Clongowes in September, 1911 having already spent six years in Belvedere and arriving in Clongowes trailing all the clouds of glory which a Preparatory Grade Exhibitioner enjoyed in those days. He was placed in First Junior which included that year names which have since achieved some small celebrity. Mr Justice Sheil of Northern Ireland is rubbing shoulders in the school list with Alban O'Kelly of Turf Board fame, and Mattie Bodkin, the Jesuit missioner, who join hands with Herbert Mooney from the Forestry Service in India and Con Maguire from the Head office of the United Nations in Geneva, while Tom Fleming is in Australia as a Jesuit and Maurice Dowling in Northern Rhodesia. Among the upper community who helped to form Arthur in these years were Fr “Jimmy” Daly, Fr George Roche, Fr John Sullivan, whose Cause for Canonisation has now been introduced, the late Fr J E Canavan, Fr John Joy and the present Irish Ambassador to the Vatican.

Arthur won an Exhibition in the Modern Literary Group in the Junior Grade that year, 1912, and in the following year went up with his former companions to Poetry. In the Intermediate Examinations that year he won a Modern Literary Scholarship in Middle Grade but did not return in September, 1913 to Clongowes for Senior Grade as would have been the normal course. Instead, he entered Trinity College Law School with the idea of becoming a barrister.

While at Clongowes his genius, perhaps to us boys somewhat of an eccentric type, was recognised. Even then he was intensely interested in music and poetry and I have a distinct recollection of one of my earliest conversations with him in which he casually quoted a junk of Froissart's Chronicles as being something with which I should be (at the age of 14) completely familiar - which I was not. He had an unusual flair for drawing and the number of narrow escapes which he had while practising this skill with his class master at the blackboard as unwitting model, were numerous. I believe that he had learned the violin at the age of six and I know that he never abandoned the playing of that instrument and amongst his papers after his death, a very substantial pile of violin and piano compositions, written by himself, were discovered.

There was a legend in his family that he had learned to read without being taught and one of the most vivid memories of him is of a long, lanky boy curled up in a large armchair wrapped in some book. He was tall and thin all his life and rather on the delicate side and consequently he did not take much part in the games at Clongowes. But all his life long, even during his early days, he loved long solitary walks and his brother remembers “his great ingenuity in getting into difficulties in these walks which he subsequently dubbed extraordinary adventures”. History was to repeat itself in this matter for when he was a Professor in Philosophy at Tullabeg College one of his favourite recreations was to go striding along the bleak bog roads clothed in an old raincoat with, if I remember rightly, a kind of deerstalker cap on bis head and a huge leather cylindrical case slung across his back which might easily have contained a small tommy gun but actually contained only a thermos flask. He was, however, a very good tennis player with an extraordinarily graceful style and a very effective technique. In his youth, strange as it may seem to those who knew the gentle Arthur later on, he was more than a bit of a boxer. His literary ability, like the sanctity of the Saints, showed early : for while at Belvedere he founded and published a magazine entitled “The Comet” duplicating it on a primitive jelly machine which left more ink on himself than on the paper.

While at Trinity in the year 1913-14 both the labour and the political world were in an exciting state, Arthur's politics had always been extremely nationalistic and the moment the National Volunteers had been founded he joined them in Larkfield, early in 1914. He became a fluent speaker of Irish, a loyal holder of the Fáinne, and spoke and wrote Irish at every suitable opportunity. If things had turned out somewhat differently he might easily have been yet another poet who would have died in 1916, as, indeed, more than one Belvederian and Clongownian poet in these days did die. In September, 1914, Arthur turned his back on the world, the Bar, and Trinity College, and entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg, meeting there once again many of his former companions of Junior and Middle Grade in Clongowes. He remained in Tullabeg for the two years of his noviceship and went through the Juniorate, which was marked for him by his introduction to Greek. He only commenced to learn Greek in 1916 but : four years later, in 1920, he took first place with First Class Honours in the BA Classical Group at UCD. He spent his three University years in Rathfarnham Castle where he had the saintly Fr John Sullivan as Rector, and then, in September, 1920, went to Milltown Park where he was introduced to the subject in which he was afterwards to display such brilliancy and profundity - Scholastic Philosophy. After his three years Philosophical Course he was sent to Riverview in Sydney, Australia, where he taught in that “Clongowes of Australia” with notable success. He returned to Ireland in 1926 and began his Theological studies at Miltown Park where he had as Professors, Fathers Peter Finlay, M Devitt, P J Gannon, John Hannon, J E Canavan and as spiritual Father, Fr “Tim” Fegan. He always considered himself blessed in having been fortunate enough to come to Milltown Park when this galaxy of brilliant Professors were at their prime. He was ordained in July, 1929 and finished his course in Theology the following year, 1930, doing a brilliant examination which led to the conferring on him of the DD from the Gregorian University.

That summer he went to Valkenburg, the famous Jesuit House of Studies in Holland, to improve his German and to further studies in Philosophy. In 1931 he spent an ecstatically happy year at Clongowes as Master and left it the following June almost hidden by the explosion and smoke of a final pyrotechnique display which, as Editor of the “Clongownian”, he provided for a delighted public in the only issue he ever produced. In September, 1932 he went to St Beuno's in North Wales for his Tertianship and it is of some interest to know that he had as one of his companions yet another Clongownian who has made, a name for himself in the Jesuit Mission field, Father Jack O'Meara (12-15) at present in Canton in Red China, while with him also was a Belvederian former companion, Fr Don Donnelly, whose meteoric adventures in China and India during the last war deserve a passing mention. In 1933 he was sent to the Jesuit Philosophate at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg. Here he was Professor of Natural Theology for fourteen years and of Psychology for eight years as well as teaching the History of Ancient and Modern Philosophy for seven years.

At Tullabeg he came in contact once more with Fr J E Canavan, hiniself a brilliant Metaphysician of the Thomistic school. Up to this, Arthur had been a Theologian and Philosopher of considerable ability but his contact with Fr Canavan produced something like a “revelation” in him and he became suddenly very much more than a mere able Philosopher. Maritain tells somewhere of an experience which he had in which he seemed suddenly to get an intuition of “being”. Something like this happened to Arthur in that year and from then on he both spoke and wrote on Philosophical questions with an extraordinary sureness of touch, depth of insiglit and clarity of view. He was a most inspiring lecturer and although some of the students must have found him at times difficult to follow, yet they all appreciated the fact that they were being taught by someone who was something more than talented - there was always a flash of genius in his treatment of Philosophical questions. He led a typical “woodland philosopher's” life absorbed in his leading of St Thomas and in his philosophical meditations but emerging now and again to go striding across the bogs or to take his fiddle up to some remote part of the house and play Beethoven.

He was an extraordinarily holy man and a religious of exemplary regularity. Any one who heard his Retreats would know that the man was preaching the very highest and most sincerely held principles and doctrine, but preaching nothing which he himself did not practise or, at least, never abandoned the effort to practise. As he himself used to put it in a Retreat, “If the just man falls seven times a day, he can only fall on the seventh time if he has got up six times before, and it is the six getting ups that make him just, not the seven fallings”.

Meanwhile he was writing articles constantly for various periodicals, chiefly “Studies” and the “Irish Monthly” on History, Music and English Literature. He published a number of lyric poems and his little life of Isaac Jogues is a masterpiece of biography

In 1946 he published the long epic poem on the Passion of Our Lord, “Christ Unconquered” which was held by “The Tablet” as “the best book on the Passion published in England in recent years”, while the Times Literary Supplement paid tribute to the beauty, sincerity and force fulness of his writing. The poem is almost as long as “Paradise Lost” and is actually very much influenced by Milton. It contains passages of brilliant theological and philosophical argument and some wonder ful analysis of the chief characters of the Passion, while certain of its descriptive passages are of quite unusual artistic beauty. The following year, 1946, he published a small book called “Philosophy without Tears” which contained a series of broadcasts from Radio Eireann. This book received two Book Society awards in America and was welcomed by a wide circle of critics with high praise. It contains some of the most typical “Arthurian” methods of philosophical analysis and exposition his irresistible impulse to see incongruities in the solemnities of life and pomposities of persons led him nearly always into what some people would call frivolity of exposition. Like Shakespeare, he rarely resisted the temptation to make a pun, though his puns were often “thought” puns rather than “word” puns, due I imagine, to his ever-present awareness of the analogical nature of being itself.

In 1946 he also published a brilliant book “On Aesthetics” treating of the nature of Art and its relation to Morality. It was received by “The Month” with a laudatory review declaring that “the book is a substantial piece of scholarship written in a delightfully flowing style” while an Irish critic spole of it as “A Philosophical book of European quality”. Fr. Little received numerous letters from the most varied classes of persons thanking him for this book. It was about the title of the book that one of his favourite puns was made. His name being Art Little and the book being the “Nature of Art” someone said that it should have been called “Erie or Little by Little”.

But what was destined to be his master piece was not actually published until his death although he had the satisfaction of having a specially printed and bound copy in his hands just before he died. This was “The Platonic Heritage of Thomism”. It is a study of the relation of St Thomas's philosophy to Platonism and includes an investigation into the doctrine of Participation and its function in Thomism. Actually the book is an examination of the very foundations of Metaphysics and its relation to Epistemology. It is a marvellously brilliant piece of work being a penetrating appreciation of the very quintessence of Thomism from the viewpoint of the Platonic doctrine of Participation. Fr. Little had all almost uncanny knowledge of three great Philosophers - Plato, Aristotle, and St Thomas. He began by being fascinated by Plato and his MA thesis, for which he was awarded first place and First Class Honour's in the National University, was on “The Subconscious in the Philosophy of Plato”. He kept his love for Plato all through his years of study and it was only when he became a Professor in Tullabeg that the hard gemlike quality of Aristotle's works pushed his Platonism into the background. This was helped by Arthur's profound study of St Thomas. He seems to have followed the form of St Thomas's mind and opinions by follow ing his commentaries on. Aristotle's philosophy.

He had an extraordinary familiarity with these seldom read works and I remember him, in the course of an argument referring me by memory to passages in those commentaries as an explanation of many passages in the Summa which are really unintelligible without a knowledge of those commentaries. In the 20's and 30's two great problems in Philosophy were being debated in Catholic circles on. the Continent of Europe : the problem of the natural desire of man for God and the problem of Participation. Fr Arthur was deeply interested in both of these problems. But actually without knowing about the literature which was gathering round the second of these problems in Italy, Germany and France, he himself made a very thorough research into the origin of the doctrine of Participation in St Thomas. There is, of course, a classical problem surrounding this question of the Participation of Being as developed by St Thomas. There is some evidence that St Thomas actually misinterpreted Aristotle on this question. But this is not certain. The real problem is, seeing that St Thomas criticised the text of Aristotle with complete intellectual integrity, how was it that with all the evidence in front of him for a correct interpretation, he yet overlooked the main errors of his author. Fr Little's belief was that the historical situation, which was indeed extremely critical for St Thomas and Aristotelianism, exercised a considerable influence on St Thomas's final explanation of Aristotle's text. But it was only after the war had ended that he discovered that three other Jesuits and a Dominican had all been working on the same problem.

He found that his own book was quite worthy to stand beside any of those published already on this subject.

At the time of his death he was writing a very characteristic series of articles on the History of Greek Philosophy. He had already published articles on Descartes and Leibniz and on existentialism as well as on the philosophical problems arising from the differential calculus. One of the minor pieces of writing of which he was inordinately, but very excusably, proud was his “Metaphysical Argument Against the Possibility of Immediate Action from a Distance” published in the Gregorianum.

Shortly after the close of the last war Fr Arthur was invited to occupy the Chair of Philosophy in the University at Malta. He looked forward with keen zeal to this new opportunity for his Philosophical Apostolate. A number of circumstances, however, delayed his taking up the position and in the summer of 1949 he fell seriously ill. He had been appointed only a month before to the Professorship of Theology at Milltown Park. His last illness was woefully protracted and he suffered considerable pain with his typical Arthurian self-discipline and courage. He spent the last months of his life in the same manner in which he lived, dividing his time between prayer, the preparation of his final work “The Platonic Heritage in Thomism”, and reading an occasional detective novel, a practice which, like all his other practices, was rigidly disciplined and confined to very definite hours of the day.

He died on the 5th December, 1949, the eve of Santa Claus, at a time when the right arm of his fellow-Jesuit, St Francis Xavier, was being venerated in Ireland. In a room close beside him lay dying also his brilliant fellow - Professor, Fr J E Canavan SJ, to whom Arthur in all probability owed the occasion for the “philosophical revelation” which came to him in 1934 in Tullabeg. They were both brilliant Metaphysicians, both poets, both wits and both men of whom the Society of Jesus might well be proud, both as saintly religious and as scholars. Within two months Fr Canavan had joined Fr Little to abandon philosophical specualtion for the Beatific Vision.

Lonergan, Cornelius, 1909-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/743
  • Person
  • 06 December 1909-18 May 1963

Born: 06 December 1909, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 18 May 1963, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain,the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

Irish Province News 38th Year No 3 1963

Obituary :

Fr Cornelius Lonergan SJ

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.
Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927, In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning he served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of The Irish Messenger, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was' Fr. Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology; there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Fr. Con and Fr. Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park. One of his Milltown professors later commented on Fr. Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.
The Status of 1940 appointed Fr, Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.
Never was there a more conscientious professor than Fr. Con Lonergan, He read copiously and continuously. He was for ever revising and improv ing his course, subjecting his doctrine to relentless scrutiny, modifying it in the light of maturer thought, changing his presentation of it as a result of his teaching experiences. His lectures never became stereotyped. There were always new insights to be communicated, new difficulties to be examined and resolved, new efforts to achieve maximum precision and clarity. His class sometimes found it difficult to grasp the new point of view, and it was always necessary to be on the alert. But when the professor was approached in private for elucidation, he was affable and enlightening. As a examiner he was kindness itself.
On the retirement of Fr. John Casey in 1954, Fr. Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation, though it was not always easy to obtain access to him. Quite frequently the warning “flag” on his doorknob reminded callers of that indifferent health and weakness of constitution which required a daily period of rest and sometimes laid Con low for days on end. He succumbed easily to colds and flu, and having had one bout of T.B., wisely took pains to avoid a repetition of it.
This lack of robust health did not, however, materially interfere with his work as professor, spiritual Father, and holder of many minor offices as well. Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them; the letter of Mother M. White, printed below, is typical of many testimonies, oral and written, made even during his lifetime. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Fr. Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extra ordinary confessor to the novices.
As a personality, Fr. Con was gentle and kindly almost to a fault, as the saying is. The fault in this case may have been a certain lack of drive and assertiveness which, in a man of his unusual ability, might have achieved quite exceptional results, say in writing, lecturing and research. But who knows? More “dynamism” (to use a word which often made Con smile) might have negatived the great good he undoubtedly achieved by gentler methods. He was a man of wide and truly humane culture interested and well-informed in literature, music, history, films and sport. One rejoiced to be near him at recreation or at dinner on talk-days. His conversation was sometimes fascinating, often witty; for he had a keen perception of the humorous in sayings, situations and characters. And he had a surprising store of excellent stories, though never one with a barb. But these gifts, as a rule, only appeared when he conversed with one or two. In a large group, he was pleasant, an interested listener, but somewhat self-effacing. Though he never obtruded himself, he was liked by all who got to know him. He was sensitive, but far too reasonable to allow his sensitivity to get the better of him. He was not the athletic type, but, as already mentioned, he played a resolute, well-studied game of golf. During the summer before he entered the Noviceship. Con and toured Ireland on a motor-bike. This mode of travel always attracted him; when about 1950 the professorial staff of Tullabeg acquired a rather powerful motor-cycle-and-sidecar, Con was one of the few people who could really master this formidable machine.
Fr. Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathbed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.
To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. To one of his former colleagues he spoke jokingly about calling on the resources of Theodicy to enable him to face the end. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death. He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”. Whether he consciously adverted to it or not, Fr. Con Lonergan, it would seem, did in fact observe the Rule of the Summary which reads: “As in the whole of life so also and much more in death, let each of the Society make it his effort and care that God, Our Lord, be glorified in him and those around be edified....”

20 Upper Gardiner Street,
Dublin 1.
Letter of Mother M. White, Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, to Fr. Provincial :
Dear Father,
Allow me to offer you the very sincere sympathy of the community on the loss of Fr. Lonergan, R.I.P. - and please count on much earnest prayer from us for the repose of his soul. The news of his death came as a shock to us as we did not know of his illness, and we realise that he must be a great loss to you.
Father gave us an outstanding retreat here in 1958 under very trying conditions (during the re-roofing of the house). Many graces were given to souls through him and since then we always considered him as one of our “special” Jesuit friends.
You have had great losses in the Province this year, but I expect the price must be paid for the wonderful apostolic work being down by the Fathers and Brothers.
With sincere sympathy and begging your blessing,
I am, dear Father, yours respectfully in Christ,
M. White, R.S.C. 22nd May, 1963.

Letter to Fr. Provincial from Fr. Geoffrey Crawfurd, parish priest of Holy Family Church, 226, Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Bucks :

Dear Father O'Connor,
I needn't tell you how shocked and sad we all were here in Langley to hear of poor Fr. Lonergan's death last Saturday. (I saw it in the Irish Press.) As you know he had come here every summer for the past four years and we were all looking forward to welcoming him here again this year. He really endeared himself to my parishioners by his kindness and obvious priestly goodness. Although we only heard the news yesterday evening I have already had a number of requests for Masses for his soul.
We shall all miss Fr. Con more than I can say. May I offer my deep sympathy to you and the Province. Please pray for me.
Yours in caritate J.C.,
Geoffrey Crawfurd

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1964

Obituary

Rev Cornelius Lonergan SJ (OB 1927)

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.

Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December, 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st Septernber, 1927. In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning the served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of “The Irish Messenger”, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was Father Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology: there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Father Con and Father Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park, One of his Milltown professors later commented on Father Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.

The Status of 1940 appointed Father Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.

On the retirement of Father John Casey in 1954, Father Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual: wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation.

Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he ap peared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memor able: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Father Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extraordinary confessor to the novices.

Father Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathibed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.

To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death, He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him-his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”.

MacErlean, John C, 1870-1950, Jesuit priest, historian and archivist

  • IE IJA J/462
  • Person
  • 15 February 1870-24 March 1950

Born: 15 February 1870, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 28 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1904
Final Vows: 15 August 1907, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 24 March 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Andrew MacErlean - LEFT 1908

by 1893 at Exaeten College, Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 at Manresa, Spain (ARA) making Tertianship
by 1925 at Rome, Italy (ROM) writing Province History

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
MacErlean, John Campbell (Mac Fhir Léinn, Eoin)
by Vincent Morley

MacErlean, John Campbell (Mac Fhir Léinn, Eoin) (1870–1950), Irish-language scholar and church historian, was born 15 February 1870 in Belfast, son of Andrew MacErlean, legal clerk, and Eliza MacErlean (née Campbell). Having attended St Malachy's College, Belfast, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg, King's Co. (1888), and graduated with a BA from the Royal University (1892). After further study on the Continent he returned to Ireland and taught classics and four modern languages (Irish, French, Italian, and German) at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, for six years. His colleagues at Clongowes included Fr Patrick Dinneen (qv), and MacErlean has been credited with arousing the latter's interest in Irish.

MacErlean showed an interest in Irish as early as 1887 when he collected phrases while on a brief visit to Rathlin Island, although it was not until 1895 that he published this material. He was elected to the Gaelic League's central branch in 1899 and his first scholarly work, an edition of the poetry of Geoffrey Keating (qv), appeared in 1900. After his ordination in 1904 he completed his religious training at Barcelona, where he also acquired a knowledge of Spanish. On his return to Ireland he began to research his most important work, an edition of the poetry of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair (qv) that appeared in three volumes between 1910 and 1917. In the same period he assisted his fellow Jesuit Edmund Hogan (qv) in the preparation of Onomasticon Goedelicum, an index to Irish placenames that was published in 1910. MacErlean was also drawn towards church history: in 1912 he edited seven poems addressed to Eoin Ó Cuileanáin, bishop of Raphoe (1629–c.1658) in the first volume of Archivium Hibernicum; in 1914 his study of the synod of Ráith Bressail, based on the evidence of Keating's Foras feasa ar Éirinn, appeared in the same journal; for many years he was a frequent reviewer of books on church history for Studies; and in 1939 he argued in Analecta Bollandiana that the ‘Silva Focluti’ mentioned in the Confessio of St Patrick (qv) should be identified with modern Magherafelt. Charged by his superiors with the task of collecting materials for a history of the Irish province of the Society of Jesus, he spent two years researching the subject in the archives of Italy, Spain, and Portugal and compiled copious notes, but the history remained unwritten at his death. He also researched the history of the Irish Sisters of Mercy, and the material he collected was used by a biographer of Catherine McAuley (qv).

MacErlean taught theology in the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, for twenty-five years and continued to live there until the end of his life. He died in Dublin on 24 March 1950.

‘Irish in Rathlin’, Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, Dec. 1895, 140; Roland Burke Savage, Catherine McAuley: the first Sister of Mercy (1949), p. ix; Ir, Independent, 25 Mar. 1950; Proinsias Ó Conluain and Donncha Ó Céileachair, An Duinníneach (1958), 102–5; Hayes, Sources: periodicals, iii, 460–62; F. X. Martin and F. J. Byrne, The scholar revolutionary (1973), 317; Aubrey Gwynn, ‘A forgotten Irish theologian’, Studies, xliii (1974), 259; Beathaisnéis, iii (1992), 53

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 3 1950

Obituary

Fr. John MacErlean (1870-1888-1950)

Fr. John MacErlean was born in Belfast on 15th February, 1870: and was educated at St. Malachy's College. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg 28th September, 1888, and graduated in the Royal University in 1892. He did philosophy at Exaten in Holland and in Jersey. He taught for six years in Clongowes. He did theology in Milltown Park and was ordained 31st July, 1904; Tertianship followed, in Barcelona.
As a young man he collaborated with Fr. E. Hogan in the compilation of the standard work on Irish place names. He worked for two years in the libraries and archives of Italy, Spain and Portugal. He devoted many years of strenuous research to the promotion of the cause of the Irish martyrs.
For twenty-five years he was Professor in Milltown Park.
He published scholarly editions of the works of Keating and O'Bruadair for the Irish Texts Society, and contributed many articles to “Analecta Bollandiana”, “Gaelic Journal”, “Archivum Hibernicum”, “Studies” and “Irish Monthly”. He supplied much of the matter for other historical writers.

An Appreciation :
In the old Gaelic economy there was a class of men called fir leighinn: men of learning, professors, lectors. From these Fr. John MacErlean got a surname of which he was proud and to which he brought honour.
Father MacErlean was a versatile man, He excelled not only in the usual studies of the Society, but in much else. It is doubtful whether any one of our time had such a comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the language, history and literary monuments of Gaelic Ireland. He was an admirable Latin and Greek scholar. He knew Sanskrit and Hebrew, and among modern languages, German, French and Spanish. He had a special gift for languages. He was not, perhaps, specially fluent in speaking, though the writer remembers his free German spoken in the Roman Forum to a lady who sought information about a monument. It is a little difficult to define in what his power lay. He seemed to reverse the conventional direction in language study which is to work from the periphery to the centre. He appeared to begin at the centre and proceed outwards. Even a Cursory examination of his editions of Keating and O Bruadair attests the power and accuracy of his scholarship in a domain in which he had to depend on his own resources and could not with impunity fall below the exacting standards of Irish textual studies.
For many years Fr. MacErlean taught Church History in Milltown Park. He specialised in the History of the Irish Church and of the Irish Province of the Society. In the former domain he had few peers, in the latter none. He devoted much time and labour to collecting and collating materials for Irish hagiography, for Irish Causes for Beatification, in particular for the Cause of Mother Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sister's of Mercy. We have heard it reported that an ecclesiastical judge acclaimed him as an incomparable witness before such tribunals.
But the quality of Fr. MacErlean's learning was even more remark able than its range. His mind was acutely critical not only in professional subjects, but in the discussion of current topics or of a newspaper report. It was also very exact. He was impatient of approximations and of loose generalities. He acquired the scholastic genius for bringing the question at issue to the test of the simple proposition with subject and predicate clearly defined. He had considerable dialectical skill and could defend his views with great ingenuity. He enjoyed nothing better on a rustication evening that defending some unpopular cause against all comers. He had a natural attraction for difficult studies and problems, and was never satisfied until he had got to the root of a question or reached the prime sources. He had a bent for establishing indices and vocabularies. The index to Migne in the Milltown Library is his, so is a vocabulary to the Writings of St. Patrick, so, too, is a valuable glossary of words and phrases from old Irish Texts. Apart from the daily paper he had little or no interest in ephemeral literature, but there was no new publication of scholarly interest which escaped his attention.
Fr. MacErlean's production in later years did not answer common expectation. We are the poorer for want of a history of the Province from one who wrote well and had a unique knowledge of the sources. As an offset to this loss we may notice that the Archives are the richer for the mass of historical material which he collected for others to exploit. Further, it may be fairly contended that the less he published over his own name in later years, the more he helped and inspired others to write. He was constantly reviewing some MS at the author's request, providing references and reading lists, solving historical and textual problems. He gave freely of his learning and time to many, and the annotations which he wrote in his neat legible hand in answer to a question were a model of accuracy and relevancy,
In fine Father MacErlean was a scholar of the first rank, not surpassed in his own field by any contemporary and worthy of a place among the eminent Irish scholars of the New and Old Society.
So far we have dealt with Fr. MacErlean's academic achievements. Of other things we must speak briefly. He was a man of strong character and uncompromising opinions strongly held on many subjects. He defended them in a spirit of independence and with great moral courage, though without rancour or bitterness. For all his learning he was the most modest and simple of men. He had a special charism for the direction of religious women. Communities to whom he had given the Exercises in his youth were still asking him twenty and thirty years later. He was much consulted by convents of the Dublin district, Nor should we omit to record his apostolate over many years in Donnybrook Convent. Only those who have met the sisters in charge could credit the amazing influence and power for good which he exercised over the penitents.
Not so long ago Fr. MacErlean told the writer that every night he recited a Gaelic quatrain which dedicates lying down to sleep as lying down to die. This was one of the rare and fugitive glimpses of the inner life of a great and good man who was not given to self-revelation, Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.

MacMahon, Brian, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/293
  • Person
  • 24 October 1907-15 August 1960

Born: 24 October 1907, Streatham, London, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 15 August 1960, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius community, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of his death.

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Kaulbachstrasse, Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1935 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
At an early stage in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of ‘Bishop MacMahon’, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of ‘The Bish’.

Fr Brian was born in London, England in 1907 and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his BSc and then his MSc at University College Dublin also obtaining a traveling scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!) where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-1943, minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944, prefect of studies at Clongowes 1944-1947. He became rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until 1950 when he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits. For several years he was rector and principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on 15 August 1960, at 53 years of age and 20 years a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr Dominic Nchete preached at the Mass for Brian at St Ignatius Church, saying, ‘Fr MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big, he spoke big, he acted big. Amid his many and varied occupations, he remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient; he was kind to all whether they were white or black’.

As a school boy, as novice and as a man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Mathematics and Political Economy (under Fr Tom Finlay S.J.) but obedience took him down a different path of studies.

“He was dominant in height”’ one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner. He could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk, but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good-humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news and his brother had sent him a subscription to the air edition of the Times which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, ‘The Bish's biography should be entitled “20 years behind the Times'”

Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was headmaster (then called principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem.

He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. Eventually, in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit!

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Brian MacMahon (1907-1960)

Fr. Brian MacMahon died in a Dublin Nursing Home on 14th August, 1960. He was born in London on 24th October, 1907, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 1st September, 1925. Having taken his Vows in 1927, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, where he studied for his M.Sc. degree at University College, Dublin. He was sent in 1931 to Valkenburg for Philosophy. He did special studies in Biology, for one year at Munich and two years at Louvain, where in 1936 he obtained his degree of Docteur en Sciences Naturelles at Louvain University. Having returned to Ireland, after one year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Milltown Park for the study of Theology and was ordained in 1940. He did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. He was Minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-43, Minister of Milltown Park 1943-44, and Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944-47. On 25th July, 1947, Fr. MacMahon was appointed Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, an office which he held until 1950, when he was sent among the first missionaries to the new Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia. For several years he was Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. P. Canisius College, Chikuni. In July 1959, he became Catholic Education Secretary for the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia and also Superior of St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka.
On 14th April, owing to serious illness, he returned to Ireland and after four months of suffering he went to his eternal reward.
Fr. MacMahon's death was not sudden, for he had been in hospitals in Rhodesia and in Ireland for several months. Yet it was surprising that it came so soon; it seemed to cut him off while he was still in full vigour and on active service. “A short life in the saddle, Lord, and not a long life by the fireside” is a prayer that might come to mind when meditating on the possibility of an inordinate affection for length of days. Fr, MacMahon's twenty years from the time of his ordination was a short life of priestly activity. He did not easily resign himself to its close. His habit of hard work and constant devotion to duty made him eager to recover from the blood-poisoning and cancerous growth which proved fatal in the end. Those who visited him in hospital did not have to cheer him up; he remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And then in simple faith and acceptance he answered the call to eternity.
Many will remember Br. MacMahon as a novice, who was primus inter pares, in stature head and shoulders above the rest of us, an out standing Br. Porter, the very symbol of stability and regularity. He enjoyed looking up old Porters' Journals in order to find precedents for “Coffees” - indeed he claimed a record in this respect for his term of office. He enjoyed recreation and he liked to see others enjoy it. But, as schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was of steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He was an excellent example both as novice and schol astic, who was not exaggerated in any way, neither excessively recollected nor excessively austere, always a man of duty of the “no nonsense” variety. He was kind and helpful to the weak; he helped them to help themselves. He was both good humoured and strict in a remarkably well blended way.
Brian MacMahon had been a talented student in Clongowes, his strongest subject being mathematics. But his course of studies in the Society was not in accordance with his tastes, though well within his ability. He would have liked to include Political Economy - then taught by Fr. Tom Finlay, S.J.- among the subjects for his Arts degree; if that were not allowed, then mathematics would have been the obvious choice. But he was transferred to the Science faculty and the B.Sc. course in Biology. Holy obedience, sheer plod, mental acumen and a good memory brought him through triumphantly to the B.Sc., the M.Sc. and a Travelling Studentship. Two years of relentless application to Philosophy followed at Valkenburg, Holland, the North German Province's Collegium Maximum. Then three further years of Biology, one at Munich, till Professor Wettstein died, and two at Louvain under the direction of Professor Gregoire. This enforced move from one University to another meant for Brian a new start. He had to commence a line of research approved by his new Professor-an investigation into the chromosomal peculiarities found at meiosis of the pollen mother-cells of Listera ovata. It meant also a change of vernacular from German to French-no small cross for one who had very little gift for acquiring languages. Yet there may have been compensations; he may have found the circumstances and companionship at Louvain more congenial. He obtained the Doctorate in Science in the form of “Aggregé”, which is equivalent to First Class Honours or summa cum laude. He had done what he was told to do, had done it with éclat.
People looked up to him, and he spoke down to them. Everyone accepted the fact that it simply had to be so. Dominant in height, but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had. In the College of Science Mr. MacMahon was long remembered with respect and affection. He had been a very popular Auditor of the Natural History Club. He would have been welcomed as a Lecturer in the Botany Department. Officials and former fellow students took a friendly interest in his later career,
Among his contemporaries in the Society, Brian also won a considerable degree of respect and affection. He was respected as a model religious, conscientious, exact, living up to the greater and lesser obligations of his vocation. He was an example: what standards he maintained one felt one ought to aim at; what little liberties he allowed himself, one knew one could take with impunity. As regards affection, one might search for another way of expressing it: he was well liked, he was popular, for all his dignity he was a thoroughly decent fellow. He was a good community man; he fitted easily into any community and became one of its better ingredients. At an early stage in the Society someone had the courage to tell him that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop MacMahon”. But lest perhaps this might seem to declare him more pontifical than he really was, it was almost immediately reduced to its homely form “The Bish”. Those who knew him well will find far more meaning and pleasant memories in the mention of his nickname than in the bald statement that he was popular.
During the 1940's Fr. MacMahon experienced several changes of status: the fourth year at Milltown, Tertianship at Rathfarnham, Minister and Professor of Biology in Tullabeg, Minister in Milltown, Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, Rector of Mungret. His general capability made him an obvious choice for so many various appointments. As soon as he could be spared in one place he was sent to fill a need in another, especially a need for organisation and administration. He was eminently reliable; he could grasp and control a new situation at short notice. No doubt there are records of his successes at Clongowes and Mungret, for he was chosen to guide the educational policy of our Mission in Northern Rhodesia, a very important task to which as a matter of fact he devoted the remaining decade of his life. Round about 1930 he would have been glad to be chosen for the Hong Kong Mission, but his Travelling Studentship intervened; twenty years later he was suddenly asked to go to Rhodesia. As always he responded immediately to the wishes of superiors, to the will of God: “Here I am, Lord, send me”.
As Rector of the community at Chikuni, Fr. MacMahon was head master and Prefect of Studies of St. Canisius College, the secondary school for boys.
On completing his term as Rector he remained on as Principal. It was in this capacity that he is best remembered by students and staff. Under his direction the school was improved and enlarged and Senior Secondary Courses introduced. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow-missionaries devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. And the government officials with whom he collaborated held him in the highest regard.
In 1959 Fr. MacMahon was appointed Education Secretary-General to the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia and Superior of St. Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, where he lived for six months before illness forced him to return to Ireland, The last months he spent in hospital, suffering a good deal, until death, for which he was well prepared, came to release him. His loss is very deeply regretted by his colleagues on the mission and by all those who benefited by contact with him" (Extract from Your St. Ignatius Newsletter, Lusaka, 21st August, 1960).
Under News from the Missions, Northern Rhodesia, in this issue will be found the panegyric preached by Fr. Dominic at the outdoor Requiem Mass at Chikuni on 19th August.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 124 : Summer 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA

Brian MacMahon

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi. Brian MacMahon was one of the first group assigned to Zambia in 1950. He died in 1960, the first Irish Jesuit in Zambia to die.

At an early stage of his life in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop Mac Mahon”, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of "The Bish". Brian was born in London, England, in 1907, and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his B.Sc. and then his M.Sc, at UCD, also obtaining a Travelling Scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany, and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!), where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours, or summa cum laude. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was Minister at Tullabeg and Professor of Cosmology and Biology 1942-1943; Minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944; Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944 -1947. He became Rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits that were assigned there in 1950. For several years he was Rector and Principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary to the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on August 15, 1960, at 53 years of age, and 20 years as a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr. Dominic Nchete preached at the Funeral Mass for Brian at St. Ignatius Church, saying, “Fr. MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big. He spoke big. He acted big amid his many and varied occupations. He remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient. He was kind to all whether they were white or black”. “Dominant in height”, one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news, and his brother had sent him a subscription to the airmail edition of the Times, which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, “The Bish's biography should be entitled 20 years behind the Times!”

As schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Maths and Political Economy (under Fr. Tom Finlay) but obedience took him down a different path of studies. Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was Headmaster (then called Principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interest of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem. He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father Brian MacMahon SJ

One remembers Brian MacMahon as a boy who was tall, intellectually gifted, well behaved, friendly, and keenly interested in all sides of life: in short a promising boy, wherever his future might lie. He was from London; but he would not have himself regarded as anything but thoroughly Irish. His accent was not noticeably English, except for one small feature characteristic of southern England which he always preserved: his “what ... why ... when ... etc.” sounded like “wot... wy ... wen ...” to the Irish ear - but then our usual style of speech sounds like “hwat ... hwy ... etc.” to the English ear; so perhaps Brian was simply correct after all.

He was tall, sometimes sombre-looking, but never really forbidding. Of course those who were smaller and younger could be momentarily cowed by his presence. But he lacked the ability to domineer. In other words, he possessed a very endearing quality, a willingness to be joked at and teased by those who with discernment and good humour could take him down a peg or two, for he liked to relax in a spirit of camaraderie. Surely all his friends still remember him in this way. He made loyal friends, who were deeply grieved by his comparatively early death.

He never took it easy just because he had plenty of brains. He worked hard in the study-hall and in class. In fact he applied himself with interest and attention to what ever he had to do. He was always in the honours classes, and regularly got cards for places in the weekly exams. Mathematics was his best subject. It so happened that during his final years in Clongowes the mathematics course underwent certain experimental innovations: some live-wire in the Department of Education managed to raise the standard of requirements while at the same time afflicting both teachers and boys with the awful nuisance of Long Tots. Brian was well able for it. Extra hard work enabled him to cover the enlarged course, and he could boast in his good-humoured way that he was willing to challenge all comers in a contest for speed and accuracy at the Long Tots.

Cricket was the game he preferred. All the summer term he enjoyed being on the cricket-pitch - though he could also make a sacrifice and get in a fair share of voluntary study as the exams approached. He was a good fast bowler; to very small boys he might have seemed a demon. Many a timid batsman quailed as he stood facing Brian's attack, as he saw the lofty figure, dark and perspiring and intent, running up to the wicket and swinging a long arm to deliver a flying ball, like some mighty Zulu warrior hurling an assagai with full force and determination.

Let it not be said that he was a “dab” at everything. As a debater he could not compare with his best friend, Ned Tracey; yet he was interested in the debates and duly did his bit. As an actor he would never be given a leading role; but in “The Private Secretary” he played his part well: a peppery old colonel retired from the Indian Army. He was always interested in what others could do better than himself, and only too willing to proclaim his own limitations. To the end of his life he was catholic in his curiosity, a great absorber of informative newspapers and journals, a storehouse of factual information on all kinds of topics, events and personalities at home and abroad. Not high-falutin', but sensible, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, no nonsense.

Brian MacMahon was always a good boy, the sort of good boy that really makes a good man. He was serious about his religious life; he made a good job of his prayers and religious duties; but he gave no sign of adding trimmings to the solid essentials. He was just thoroughly reliable and faithful in this as in everything else. God gave him a vocation to the priesthood, and he simply responded. There was nothing surprising about that: it fitted in perfectly with people's proper appreciation of what a vocation is.

To anyone who asks about Brian's later career as a Jesuit the answer has to be that he had two careers, both of them extremely successful. His academic studies at UCD and at the Universities of Munich and Louvain, culminated in his winning a Doctorate in Science with the highest possible distinction and acclamation. Later, after his ordination to the priesthood, he was entrusted with administrative posts: Prefect of Studies in Clongowes and Rector of Mungret College during the 1940s; then Rector and Prefect of Studies at Chikuni, Superior at Lusaka and Education Secretary-General for the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia during the 1950s. To his religious superiors he presented a sort of insoluble problem. They would have liked to multiply him by two, or rather to divide him into two persons: one with his academic ability, the other with his powers of organisation and administration. When ever his fellow-Jesuits heard how Mr MacMahon and then Father MacMahon had succeeded in this way or that they would say in a tone of friendly appreciation “Good old Brian” and “we all knew he could do it”.

Mr MacMahon taught in Clongowes for one year, 1936-37, before going on to theology at Milltown Park. At that time he was a somewhat eminent and senior scholastic. The Prefect of Studies valued him as a most reliable teacher and an excellent judge of a boy's ability. His pupils must have found that he was also a great '”spotter” of questions likely to appear on the exam papers. Father MacMahon was himself Prefect of Studies in Clongowes for three years, 1944-47, before he received his appointment as Rector of Mungret. A few years later he was chosen for the Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia to help in guiding the educational policy there a very important task to which he devoted the remaining ten years of his life. His final appointment made him the representative of the Catholic bishops in Northern Rhodesia; his duty it was to collaborate with the Government officials in all educational matters that concerned the Church as well as the State, Nowadays everyone knows that educational facilities are of vital importance in all foreign missions.

Respected and liked: these are the words that people use in recalling Father MacMahon. He was indeed highly respected and well liked everywhere he lived and worked, from the Biology Department in the College of Science to the Educational Department at Lusaka. The Africans who had known him at St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, said the same in their own way. They said “he was a big man”, not because of his great stature but because they had immense respect for him; they said “he was a big man in every way” because they liked him, because he was so extremely fair to them and so concerned for them in every way; they said “he is a big loss”.

The ways of Divine Providence are inscrutable to men. Human wisdom would have kept Father Brian MacMahon another ten years in Lusaka in that special post that he was so qualified to fill in this critical period of African unrest. But God decided otherwise; that he should endure some months of puzzling lingering, wasting sickness and so move on to his final reward on 14th August, 1960. God decided that he may now rest in peace.

B L

Magan, James W, 1881-1959, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1647
  • Person
  • 25 November 1881-13 September 1959

Born: 25 November 1881, Killashee, County Longford
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1918,St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 13 September 1959, Loyola College, Watsonia, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

First World War chaplain.
by 1904 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th Yorks and Lancs Regiment, BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
James Magan was a real character with a boisterous sense of u and was a wonderful companion if one was not feeling depressed. His loud, melodious voice could annoy the more sensitive by his vociferous jokes on trams and buses, and he was good at “setting up” superiors by playing on their weaknesses, especially the provincial, Austin Kelly. His wit was captivating. When introducing himself he would say: “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my Father.
Magan was a most devoted and respected pastor, especially good with young people. He was also very humble. and would even ask for advice about his sermons and retreat notes, even though he was highly skilled in preaching. He spoke the language of the people in simple terms, putting everyone at ease He even became an expert in the Australian accent.
He was educated at Castleknock College by the Vincentians, and Clongowes College, before he entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1899. After his juniorate there in mathematics and classics, he studied philosophy at Gemert, Toulouse province, 1903-06, and then taught at Mungret and Clongowes, 1906-12. Theology studies at Milltown Park followed, 1912-16, and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1916-17.
For a few years afterwards, Magan became a military chaplain with the 6th York and Lancasters, British Expeditionary Forces, 1917-19. Afterwards, he set sail for Australia, teaching first at Xavier College, 1920-22, then at St Aloysius' College, 1923-24, and finally spent a year at Riverview.
In Australia he had a most successful pastoral ministry, first at Lavender Bay, 1925-31, then as superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1932-36. He also worked at various times at Hawthorn, 1942-59.
Magan was a very colorful personality. He was an outstanding retreat-giver, and for twenty years gave the ordination retreat to the seminarians at Werribee. He also gave a retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright, homely illustrations. His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met along his path, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees. Many a junior sister he addressed as “Mother General”.
He regularly preached the devotions to the Sacred Heart during the month of June. Magan was above all a kindly, hospitable man, and definitely 'a man's man'. He died suddenly whilst giving a retreat to the priests of the Sale diocese at Loyola College, Watsonia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926
Residence. S F XAVIER (Lavender Bay) :
Lavender Bay became an independent parish in 1921. Its First Pastor was Fr R O'Dempsey. He was succeeded by Fr R Murphy, who built the new school, enlarged the hall, and established four tennis courts. The present Pastor so Fr J Magan. All three are old Clongowes boys. The parish contains St, Aloysius' College, two primary schools and two large convents. Numbered amongst the parishioners is His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932
Lavender Bay Parish
Father James Magan, S.J., took leave of Lavender Bay Parish at a meeting organized by his late parishioners to do him honour and to say farewell. During the proceedings several very complimentary speeches were addressed to him, and a number of substantial presents made.
The Catholic Press, commenting on the meeting, wrote “In the Archdiocese of Sydney there is no more genial priest than Rev. Father .J. Magan, SJ., who has just completed seven years as Superior of the Lavender Bay Parish, and has been transferred to the Jesuit house at Richmond, Victoria. His remarkable jovial disposition, a trait that puts his numerous callers in a friendly attitude, is the reflection of a generous heart which, allied with his high ideals of the priesthood, has made his pastorate on the harbour side a triumphant mission for Christ.Needless to say, during his stay at Lavender Bay, Father Magan won the esteem and respect of all who came in contact with him, especially the school children, in whom he took a great interest, His going is a great loss to the parish, especially to the poor, whom he was always ready to help, not only by giving food and clothing, but also money.

Irish Province News 35th Year No 1 1960
Obituary :
Fr James W Magan (1881-1959)

(From the Monthly Calenday, Hawthorn, October 1959)
The death of Fr. Magan came with startling suddenness, although we should have been prepared for it; for during the last year or so, he had been looking very frail, and aged even beyond his years. Had he lived till the 25th November, he would have been 78 years old. He was, however, so ready to undertake any apostolic work that no one dreamt, when he walked out of Manresa six days before, on the day of his Diamond Jubilee, to begin the first of two retreats to the Bishop and clergy of the diocese of Sale, at Loyola, that he would in a week's time be brought back to Hawthorn in his coffin for his Requiem.
The day he went to Loyola for that retreat was a memorable one for Fr. Magan, because it marked the sixtieth anniversary of his entrance into the Society of Jesus. Normally it would have been a festal day for him, celebrated amongst his fellow Jesuits and friends; but he elected to postpone the celebration of his Jubilee till the two retreats were over. He seemed, however, to have had some inkling that the end was at hand, for in saying goodbye to a member of the community at Hawthorn, he thanked him earnestly for kindness shown to him during the last few years.
Towards the end of the first retreat, Fr. Magan became ill and his place was taken by another priest during the final day. A doctor saw him and urged him to rest for a few days. He did as he was told and the sickness seemed to pass away, and although he did not say Mass on the morning of his death, he was present at Mass and received Holy Communion. He rested quietly during the day and appeared to be well on the mend and in particularly good form, but a visitor to his room at about 3 p.m. found him with his breviary fallen from his helpless hands. He had slipped off as if going to sleep, and I feel sure, just as he would have wished, quietly and peacefully, with no one by his side but his Angel Guardian, presenting him to the Lord, and it is hard to believe that when he met the Master in a matter of moments, he would not have indulged in his wonted pleasantry : “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St. James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my father”.
Fr. Magan was born in Kilashee, Co. Longford, Ireland. His school. years were spent partly at the Vincentians' College of Castleknock. and partly at the Jesuit College of Clongowes Wood in Kildare. His novitiate was made in Tullabeg, followed by his further classical and mathematical studies in the same place. There he had as one of his masters, Fr. John Fahy, afterwards the first Provincial of Australia. His philosophical studies were made at Gemert, Holland, after which he taught at Mungret and Clongowes Wood Colleges, before proceeding to Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. There, in due course, he was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 1915. His Tertianship in Ireland was interrupted at the outbreak of the First World War, when he was appointed Chaplain to the British forces in France and Belgium; and at the conclusion of the war he completed his Tertianship in the French Jesuit College, Canterbury, England.
His next important appointment was to Australia and his travelling companion was Fr. Jeremiah Murphy, for many years Rector of Newman College. He taught at Xavier College, Kew and St. Aloysius College, Milson's Point, Sydney; and he was Prefect of Studies at Aloysius and later at Riverview. But his obvious gifts for dealing intimately with souls induced Superiors to put him aside for parish work. He was parish priest at Lavender Bay and also at St. Ignatius, Richmond. For many years he was stationed at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, where a splendid tribute to his memory paid by a church packed with priests, parishioners and friends from far and near, hundreds of whom received Holy Communion for the repose of his soul; and at the conclusion of the Requiem Mass a beautiful and perfectly true-to-life panegyric was preached by His Grace, Arch bishop Simmonds, who presided. There were present also in the Sanctuary, Bishop Lyons of Sale, who with his priests had just made with Fr. Magan the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; Bishop Fox, the Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mannix, and Fr. Swain, S.J., the English Assistant to Fr. General.
Fr. Magan was a colourful personality, whose coming to Australia was a great boon to our country. He was an outstanding retreat-giver to clergy and laity and for quite twenty years he gave the Ordination Retreat to generations of young Corpus Christi priests; many times also to various Jesuit communities in Australia, and to religious, nuns and Brothers throughout the length and breadth of our land. He was, I think, the first to give the annual retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra, and wherever he went he left behind him happy memories and most practical lessons for the future.
“Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?” - “What is to prevent one driving home an important truth. in a merry way?” - seems to have been almost a cardinal principle with Fr. Magan. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright homely illustrations, but there was no mistake possible as to the lesson he set out to teach.
His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met on the way, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees, and many a junior nun, perhaps even a novice, was swept off her feet and constrained blushingly to disclaim the title, when addressed by His Reverence as “Mother General”.
He loved to tell the following incident where he met his own “Waterloo’. It was long ago in an almost empty tram in North. Sydney, Fr. Magan boarded it at the same time as a lady who was carrying a pet monkey. When the conductor came to take his fare, Fr. Magan said (possibly not in a whisper) : “Are monkeys allowed on this tram?” The conductor replied : |Get over there in the corner and no one will notice you”.
He was always very ready when asked to preach or to give a course of sermons on special occasions. I wonder how many times be gave the “Novena of Grace”, or how often he gave the Devotions of the Sacred Heart during the month of June? The writer remembers well how on one Saturday evening in June he was in the pulpit and he was speaking on the text : “Those who propagate this devotion will have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced”. He told how he had been asked to give this course on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and how he would never, while he lived, decline such a request. “And why should I”, he said. “Did you not hear my text : ‘They shall have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced’? Won't that be the day for the Magans!” he cried. And assuredly, if that honour is due to anyone, it would be due to him, for devotion to the Sacred Heart was, one might say, almost a ruling passion with him.
Some years passed by and Fr. Magan was very seriously ill. A critical operation was impending. The writer went to see him in hospital. “How are you, James?” I asked. “Weak, terribly weak”, he replied. “Still I think you are going to make good”, I said, “I don't know that I want to”, was his answer. “Well, James”, I said, “at any rate your name is written deep on His Heart, never to be effaced. I have no doubt of that”. His eyes filled with tears and they coursed down his cheeks, and be blurted out : “Please God. Please God”.
Yes, Fr. Magan was a devoted priest of God. Deep down in his soul, under the veneer of what Archbishop Simmonds called his rollicking humour, was a faith in God and a love of God, for Whom with might and main he strove in the Society of Jesus for sixty years. Multitudes of people are indebted to him. He had a heart of gold, as those who knew him best can testify, and he was a devoted, faithful friend. The writer', at any rate, believes that his name is written deeply in the Heart of Christ, never to be effaced.
J. S. Bourke, S.J.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father James Magan SJ

Father Magan is in France with the 6th Yorkshire and Lancashire. He has, perhaps, come in contact with more Clongownians than any other of our Chaplains. He it was who had charge of the funeral of Lieut. C Shiel, RFC, whose death is announced else where, and among CWC men present at the graveside was R L Rice. He has also come: across J J Keating and poor David, who has recently been killed, and George Maher and Dr Carroll and others. He paid us a short visit during the year, and some of his adventures would make very interesting reading were it not that space, and possibly DORA, will not allow us to record them. Some of his escapes were as amusing on after thought as they must have been nerve-racking at the time.

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Clongowes Chaplains

Our last number gave an account of the work and experiences of those Army Chaplains who were connected with Clongowes either as boys or masters. Since then a number of those mentioned have found their way back to civil life.

The Armistice.
We are glad to have the opportunity of publishing an account of the Armistice “celebrations” and the events that followed, as viewed by one of our Chaplains, Father Magan, who found himself near Mons when the order (which, apparently, they did not get) to cease fire was given. Father Magan was attached to the 6th Yorks and Lancs. Regiment, and this letter was written home by him on the 20th of November last.

6th York and Lanc, Regiment,
B.E.F., 20/11/18

Dear Father Finlay, PC,

For the past few days I have been doing rather unusual work. I am in a little village one side of which is Belgian, the opposite side is French. It was peculiarly placed during the war, as no one was allowed to go from one country to the other, no one might cross the street or even bid good day to those on the other side. There was a church for each side and a Curé for each side. It is called Goegnes-Chaussée, about 13 kilometers from Mons. Well, this village is on the high road to Germany, so there are hundreds of our prisoners who got free somehow or other from the Germans. Some were let go, some broke away. The costumes are most varied. Some come as smart young Belgians in hard hats, collars and ties; others in khaki ; others half and half, khaki and civilian; others come in prisoner usiform; others in clothes supplied from home. To each and all I supply cigarettes, having got a good supply from the Weekly Dispatch Smokes Fund, and I bear those who want to go to confession.

I met Irish of many regiments - Dublins, Connaughts, RI Rifles, RI Regt, SI, Horse, Leinsters, Munsters. Also Eoglish, Scotch, Australians, Newzealanders, French and Italians.

The Belgians on the way back treated them right royally. At Charleroi the nuns bustled aside the now subdued Germans and got the Catholics to their first Mass for eight months, The Curé there in his sermon exhorted his congregation to see that none of the returning prisoners were short of anything, and tbey followed bis advice to the letter. All they had to spare in the way of clotbes, food and smokes was open to them, I never saw such gratitude as they felt to the Belgians.

When taken they suffered extraordinary privations. To get a drink on the way back last November or March they drank the water off the streets and got no other drink. In the prison cage watches and chains were freely given for a drink of water. They worked at forward dumps of rations or shells or as grooms to German bosses, some even as mess waiters. Food varied according to the chances of scrounging. Not even the mess waiters fared well, as tbe German officers' mess was exceedingly bad. Some always cooked and ate rats when they were lucky enough to kill one. Potato skins were washed and cooked - nettles were freely eaten Tobacco was a most peculiar mixture of leaves of all kinds. Many bring back samples of the blacker brand which is vile. A loaf cost 8 marks, and it was 8 men to a loaf. They were offered 200 marks for boots coming from England; clothes went 500 marks a suit, ie, £25. I saw an overall coat made from nettles and it looked fine. Ropes and sandbags and even towels were made of paper.

Mons
I paid a visit to the famous Mons. It is a fine town and not much damaged. There are shops with fair supplies, but everything is fearfully dear-a bar of chocolate, 2/6; an egg, 1/-,

Peace was a rather tame affair out here. It started as a rumour which no one believed. Then at 11 am. the bands played, The Curé of Aubrois, where I was, made a speech to congratulate the British for having saved Belgium. I translated it; there were three cheers for the King, for Belgium, and for France, and all went their way. For days we heard, as it were, far-off guns which were hard to explain, but it was caused by German dumps being fired.

The most wonderful part of the German retreat was the way they blew up the roads behind then. Every cross road was completely blown to pieces, leaving a huge hole which caused endless inconvenience. Miles of traffic was held up by it. Side roads and main roads suffered alike. The difficulty is that there is little or no road metal to be found to fill in these lioles. For a day or two no rations could come, even aeroplanes had to drop buliy and biscuits to the troops. The papers spoke of a dramatic order to cease fire, unfix bayonets. I heard nothing of it. The war fizzled out like a dying candle. and no one knew it. The prisoners all say it is wonderful how the Germans held out. They were playing the game of bluff; their transport was hopeless - even cows being used for limbers, their harness all ropes, and those paper ropes. Their men had lost their morale; at Aubrois they broke their rifles rather than go into the line. Their treatment of civilians would demand a whole letter, and I must say good-night.

I remain, etc.,

J W Magan SJ, CF

Behind the German Lines
We are indebted to another letter of Father Magan's for the following account of life in a Belgian occupied village :

The people told ine of the invasion. Everything was commandeered Brass of all kinds, knobs of doors, windows, beds, all bedding and loodstuffs. The great complaint was against the “Komandatur” (i.e., the town major and the police). If people were found boiling potatoes the police threw out the potatoes and a fine of 50 marks was imposed. Some had a procès verbal six times a week, and so marks each time. One woman had three in one day. She got up at 6 am - procès No I. She was caught talking with others in the street procès No 2. She lit a light in her house and went straight to shut the window, but was caught (all lights should be covered) - procès No 3. All cattle and hens had been taken, so the country was exceedingly poor. Still there remained some American Red-Cross supplies, cocoa and coffee, to which they treated us.

◆ The Clongownian, 1960

Obituary

Father James William Magan SJ

On a summer's evening exactly fifty years ago a lost new boy stood amid the pile of trunks on the Higher Line Gallery, searching his pockets for the nth time for a lost key. A voice behind him said: “Cheer up, young man, if I can't find a key to fit it, I can lend you a couple of sticks of dynamite”. That was a characteristic introduction to Father, then Mr James William Magan, or as he liked to say: “James for my patron saint, James the apostle, William for the Kaiser, Magan for my father”. There cannot be many who remember the boy who came to Clongowes from Castleknock nor even very many who can remember him as Gallery Prefect, but the recollections of those who do must be vivid and vital, for Mr James Magan was a vivid and vital person. The first and not the least important thing about him in those far-off days was his high spirits. Banging his great bunch of keys with a smile that was close to a grin, he would sweep down the gallery driving the laggards out to walk the track or play “gravel” with a jovial roar, “Omnes Ex!” (“All out”).

We boys were probably quite unaware of the tonic his good spirits and energy were when the monotony of school routine threatened. The office of Gallery Prefect is not the easiest position to fill on the Clongowes staff, though it may well be reckoned one of the most influential. Father James Magan filled it perfectly. He was a strict disciplinarian who was always just, and never harsh. If you deserved it he taught you your lesson, and that done he resumed at once the friendiy relations that were his habitual attitude to all men. The writer still remembers the astonishment with which he heard the ex-gallery prefect recommend him to a successor it was hard to believe he had ever been in trouble. But James Magan was no mere disciplinarian, he could hold a group around his desk under the clock talking first sport and then books and then almost imperceptibly the things that mattered. High spirits can be trying, and they can be a matter of mood or temperament. Father James' were never irritating for he was spontaneous, unselfconscious and always kind. And they were constant. Now constant good spirits through the days and months of a Gallery Prefect's commission and for fifty years to come are not an affair of mood or temperament, they are quite simply a virtue.

He carried the same bubbling energy into his class work. He had one group of the rejected by the experts from Father James Daly's carefully picked “Honours Boys”. These mathematical morons he pushed, one and all, through their exam, a few, to his undisguised delight, took higher honours than some of the chosen race.

After these first school years I met Father James only three times. Once when a tertian father, he brought all his old power to cheer to bear on a novice in some need of it. Again, when in a Captain's uniform and talking, as he liked to do, a special soldiers' jargon inter larded with French tags, he came back from the Somme and Paschendale with unbroken cheerfulness and a completely unheroic manner. It was an unexpected visit to Australia that gave me my last glimpse of him ten years or so before his death. He had been very ill, and his chances of life were put very low. I believe he knew it, but he certainly did not show it, and he was on his way from one retreat to another. He had no intention. of “resting”. Had we ever seen him rest? In the event he served a full sixty years and fell ill and died while actually engaged in giving a clergy retreat.

And here, perhaps an apology is due for a memory of Father James that omits any real account of his life work, his years as a teacher in Australia - he was prefect of Studies in Sydney's great school, Riverview; of the long labours, half a life time, as a parish priest, a preacher. The greatest authority in Australia said to the present writer: “Father Magan is undoubtedly one of the best preachers in Australia”, and added with a touch of Father James's own humour; “And he knows it”!!!

For twenty years he had given the ordination retreat at Corpus Christi, the seminary of the Melbourne archdiocese. And it was not surprising that Dr Symonds, the Coadjutor Archbishop, should comment on the tribute the great gathering of priests at Father James's funeral was to the man he eulogised with such affection and understanding. But all that and a great deal more is told elsewhere, here it is simply the wish of one old Clongowesman to express for all his contemporaries the gratitude and affection he feels for his “prefect” and the pride he feels in his school fellow.

To his sisters and to his nephews, Michael and John, we offer our sincere sympathy.

MB

Mahony, Jerome, 1889-1956, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/239
  • Person
  • 30 September 1889-05 March 1956

Born: 30 September 1889, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Sacred Heart College, Limerick
Died: 05 March 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clongowes student then a year in France before entry. He was studying French in Lille for a year to prepare for his father’s business, then he entered.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 31st Year No 2 1956

Obituary :

Fr Jerome Mahony 1890-1956
Fr. Jerome Mahony, S.J., died almost suddenly, after an attack of cerebral haemorrhage, in St. Mary's, Emo, on March 5th. He was born in Dublin 66 years ago and educated at the Marist College, Leeson Street, and at Clongowes Wood. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1907 at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and later studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire.
On his return to Ireland, Fr. Mahony taught in Clongowes Wood and Mungret College, Limerick, for six years preceding his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1922. He joined the teaching staff of the College of the Sacred Heart, Limerick, before beginning his long association with Mungret College in 1928.
Fr. Mahony was appointed Rector of the Jesuit Novitiate, Emo, in 1945. On relinquishing this post, he remained at St. Mary's as Latin professor to the novices and spiritual director of the community.
Fr. Mahony served the Society loyally and well in his many years of teaching, both in the colleges and the novitiate; and his four volumes of A History of the Catholic Church for Schools are a well-thumbed testimony to his thoroughness and zeal. His will be a household name in the school-world for years to come. (One of his own favourite stories was that of hearing one small boy in Clongowes say to another as he passed : “There's Hart."). In more ambitious vein is his unpublished study of some points in St. John's Gospel; and he also wrote a number of scriptural and liturgical pamphlets for the Messenger Office.
But his most useful service to the Society of Jesus was that which he constantly and edifyingly gave within our own communities. Without parade or pretension he was an excellent religious. His charity and kindliness was never-failing. He was at the disposal, not merely of his superiors, but of everyone. A dull supply, a manuscript to be typed, a boring visitor to be shown round, an untimely confession to be heard - these and a hundred such jobs seemed to fall as by right to the lot of Fr. Jerome. He was indeed, ad omnia. And then he turned up at recreation hour to liven his brethren with quip and comment and an amazingly varied repertoire of stories. In this alone he is a sore loss to the little community where the last happy decade of his life was spent.
For those who knew Jerome Mahony at all intimately his unaffected humility impressed even more than his charity. And that says much. The third degree of humility was no mere theory for him, a thing that he had marked read on some far-away October day of the Long Retreat. It seemed to be something. always unobtrusively - almost humorously - present. On occasions where a lesser man of greater natural talents might have sulked and, so doing, ruined himself and them, Fr. Jerome, accepting that he should be esteemed and accounted as one less wise, grew in the disconcerting wisdom of the saints.
Up to the day of his death he was at work on a new Menology for the Irish province. Whoever finishes this task might well find a place for him as an example of the man, so valuable in any group, who shirking no task however unpleasant or obscure, desires only to be of help.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Jerome Mahony SJ 1890-1956
“Up to the day of his death, Fr Jerome Mahony was working on a new Menology for the Irish Province. Whoever finished this task might well find a place for him as an example of a man, so valuable in any group, who, shirking no task, however unpleasant, desired only to be of help”. So wrote the obituarist of Fr Mahony. The prompting was unnecessary. Fr Jerome, by his cheerful, edifying and saintly life, easily merits a high place in these records.

He was born in Dublin in 1890, educated at Clongowes, entering the Society in1907.

He was a thorough Jesuit, giving of his best in the classroom for years on end, ever ready to shoulder unpleasant tasks that others might excuse themselves from, and yet not making himself out as a martyr for the community. In fact he was an ideal community man, every ready with a humorous story and witty retort, with a wit that had to barb to it.

He was an author of the History of the Catholic Church for use in schools, and left behind an unpublished study of St John’s Gospel together with numerous pamphlets of the “Messenger Office”.

In 1945 he was appointed Rector of Emo Park, where he died quite suddenly on March 5th 1956.

◆ The Clongownian, 1956

Obituary

Father Jerome Mahony SJ

The sudden, quite unexpected, death of Fr Jerome Mahony at Emo last March, following a cerebral haemorrhage, came as a shock to his very many friends both within and without the Society. He was not considered an old man, as years go, he had always enjoyed good health, and had always been active and deeply interested in his work. There seemed every prospect that he would be spared to continue his useful career for many years to come. But God's summons came suddenly, though it did not find him unprepared,

He was at Clongowes from 1900 to 1906, where his father and brothers also were educated and where he came into contact with two saintly men, Fr Michael Browne and Fr John Sullivan. On leaving Clongowes he was sent by his father to Lille with a view to preparing him for a business career, but he found that God had other plans for him and in 1907 he joined the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg. The present writer was his “angelus”, ie, the older novice told off to initiate him into the ways of the place for a few weeks, and he remembers vividly after nearly fifty years the very thin, boyish figure who had such a flow of wit and good spirits, who soon became the life of the noviceship or at least one of its lives. He went through the usual stages of the Jesuit formation with fervour and edification. After a few years in the Juniorate in Tullabeg, where he studied Classics and English, he was sent to teach at. Mungret College, because a tired head prevented him from entering his philosophical training. From the beginning he showed a good will and adaptability which made him a very useful member of the college staff. A few years afterwards he was sent to do his philosophy, first at Valkenburg, a house of German Jesuits in Holland and than at Stonyhurst. For a few years after philosophy he did college work again at Clongowes and Mungret and in 1920 he was sent to Milltown Park for his theology, where he was ordained priest in 1924. He did his final stage of formation, his tertianship, at Tullabeg from 1924 to 1925.

The greater part of his life as priest was spent at Mungret, where he taught English and History. He was a careful and conscientious teacher rather than an inspiring one. It was something of an anomaly that one whom his fellow Jesuits knew to be so witty and joyous in temperament should have appeared to the boys and outsiders as a man of rather unrelieved gravity. He had a very elevated view of his profession as a teacher and he gave himself to his work generously and conscientiously.

Outside his teaching the abiding interest of his life was history and especially Church history. The scanty margins of his day during term time and a great part of his holidays were devoted to this subject. Novels, newspapers, games and the other numerous diversions which even very busy men allow themselves were quietly set aside. He used to say when asked if he had read the paper, that he read only the papers which were at least a hundred years old, because then they were history. Thanks to this discipline and rigid adherence to his plan of studies, he succeeded in making himself an authority on Church history.

As a recognition of his competence in this subject he was asked to write a history of the Church for the programme of Religious Instruction prescribed by the bishops for the schools. He accepted the commission and for several years it was an absorbing task. He did the job with characteristic thoroughness and deliberation. He read and noted and planned and replanned; he wrote and rewrote with indefatigable energy. He consulted specialists on various portions of his wide subject, and accepted their guidance without question. Publishers and prefects of studies who were waiting impatiently for the completion of the work complained that he was too slow; but at least he did the work well, and his book in two small volumes has been very widely adopted in the schools and has met a real need.

He had always an interest in serious subjects, in such as belonged to his profession as priest. He had made a careful study of the gospels, especially that of St John. During his theology at Milltown Park he set himself to read through the “Civitas Dei” of St Augustine, and visitors to his room would see a great unkempt quarto propped up against the wall, and would inquire about his present position in the great tome. He compiled a history of the Passion in the words of the Evangelists which was published by the Messenger Office and had a very wide sale.

As has been said most of his teaching life was spent in Mungret, where he came to share something of the institutional character of his friend of many years, Fr William Kane SJ. On leaving Mungret he was appointed Rector of St Mary's, Emo, the Noviceship, and during his time as Rector he installed central heating in that house. For several years before his death he was engaged in teaching Latin to the Novices at Emo. He was active and industrious to the last.

The conscientious discharge of his duty as teacher nust have had a big influence on the great number of boys with whom he came in contact. In his community, he was an exemplary religious, observant of rule, faithful to all his religious duties, charitable and obliging to every one. His abiding interest in serious study, his industry and thoroughness in all the jobs he was appointed to do, such as the editing of the Mungret Annual or the giving of domestic exhortations to his community, were an incentive to all. But perhaps what those who knew him will best remember was the wit and gaiety of spirits with which he brightened every community in which he lived.

To his brothers and sisters, and especially to Mother Mary Angela of the Ursuline Convent, Waterford, we offer our deepest sympathy in their great loss. RIP

H K SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Jerome Mahony (1889-1956)

Born in Dublin of a family originally from the city of Limerick, was educated at the Marist School, Leeson St and Clongowes. On leaving school, he entered on a business career and spent a year in Paris. Feeling a call to the religious life, he entered the Society in 1907 and made his higher studies at Valkenburg, Stonyhurst and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1922. Father Mahony was master here from 1925 to 1928 when he left for Mungret College with which he was henceforth associated for many years. He was appointed rector of Emo Park in 1945 and on relinquishing office remained as a member of the same community. It was during these later years that Father Mahony compiled his History of the Catholic Church for Schools, which is now in use throughout Ireland. At the time of his death he was engaged upon a dictionary of biography of Irish Jesuits from the time of the restoration of the Society. In his lifetime, Father Mahony was widely respected as a deeply spiritual man and a wise director of souls.

Martin, Thomas, 1907-1978, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/242
  • Person
  • 24 December 1907-20 August 1978

Born: 24 December 1907, Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 20 August 1978, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death

Early education at CBS Synge Street

Chaplain in the Second World War.

by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs O'Meara and Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.
After a few months at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen he was sent teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and he spent three years there teaching English and Catechism, and also looking after sports and games. He had outstanding gifts and took many artistic photographs and made a long 16mm film of the work of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, and of Chinese life in general. This film became very useful for talks on Missions later on.

In 1936 he returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, being Ordained in 1939.
He then went to make Tertianship in 1941-1942, after which he was sent to Tullabeg, looking after the Ricci Mission Unit and giving Retreats.
1943-1946 He became a Military Chaplain
1946 He began his work as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Hong Kong, and he was first stationed at Milltown Park. In 1950 he had to enlarge his work to incorporate the new Mission to Rhodesia (Zambia).
1974 He retired from this work and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

As Procurator he not only helped returned missionaries or those heading to the Missions. He was an indefatigable fundraiser, and he kept i touch with many missionary organisations throughout Ireland. Organising many “Sales of Work” he also raised interest in the work of the Irish Jesuits overseas.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978
Gardiner Street
After a period of illness and some disorientation, Fr Tom Martin died on Sunday morning, 20th August. We were saddened at this passing away of a warm-hearted member of our community and of a staunch colleague in our apostolate. He will be mourned by his many brothers in the society and by the many friends he made both through his work for the missions and more recently through his dedication to parish visitation. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :
Fr Thomas Martin (1907-1978)
Father Tom Martin died at St John of God’s, Kilcroney, on August 20th 1978. Although Father Tom had had some eye trouble for about two years before his death, the period during which he was very seriously incapacitated was, thank God, quite short. This was, more especially in his case, a great favour from God, for his life in the Society during about 53 years was full of profitable activity.
Born at Rugby in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on October 24th, 1907, Father Tom entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on September 1st 1925. He spent three years of his teaching years (1930-1933) at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He studied in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1939. On completion of his Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1941, he spent a year on the Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he had studied his philosophy many years previously. He was a Chaplain in the British Army, 1942-1946, during which he spent some periods of duty in England, France, Belgium and Holland.
On his return from the Chaplaincy there began for him the chief work of his life. While living in St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, his daily work for twenty-six years was that of Mission Procurator (1946-1972); and he was Assistant Procurator for our Foreign Missions from 1972 to 1976: in all thirty years of tireless work from which our Foreign Missions in the Far East and in Zambia derived continual help. His kindly manner and understanding of people enabled him to organise great help for his missionary work from the many lay people: who could speak sincerely and perhaps more eloquently even than his fellow religious, of his quiet and attractive efficiency.
Even when serious eye trouble prevented the continuance of “office work”, as Mission Procurator, he was blessed by God by being able to continue active work in Gardiner Street as sub-minister and assistant in parish work until he had to go into hospital a comparatively short time before his death.
May he rest in peace.

McArdle, Henry, 1888-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1684
  • Person
  • 06 June 1888-07 November 1940

Born: 06 June 1888, Wellington, New Zealand
Entered: 01 June 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Xavier College Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 07 November 1940, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to AsL : 05 April 1931

by 1913 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1915 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1917 in Australia - Regency
by 1925 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Henry McArdle was educated at Riverview, 1905-07, and was a member of the rugby XV and of the winning “Four” in rowing at the GPS regatta, a time before the introduction of “Eights” into rowing. He was also a good actor and musician, and always retained his interest in drama, music and rowing. In 1938 the Riverview Old Boys presented him with a skiff, but by that time was not able to make much use of it. He was a rather shy and gentle man, but could be severe in the classroom where he mainly taught mathematics.
He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 June 1908, and after his juniorate taught at Belvedere College for a few years before philosophy studies at Stonyhurst and Gemert, France, 1912-15. Then he taught at Riverview, 1915-20, and returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, 1920-24, for theology Tertianship was at Tronchiennes, 1924-25.
He taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1925-29, did parish duties at Richmond, 1930-31, and returned to teaching at St Patrick's College, 1931-37. Here be made a name for himself with musical entertainment. He was a hard master to satisfy, for months rehearsals continued until every note was true. Of particular note were productions of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore and The Pirates. His taste for music was exceptional, he played the violin well, and was gifted with a rich tenor voice. Each year he took leading parts in light operas, which was good preparation for his work at St Patrick's College.
McArdle must have overstrained himself at St Patrick's College, as he sustained a bad breakdown in 1938 and returned to New Zealand for a rest, but he never properly recovered. He retuned to Riverview for his last few years, working in the observatory. Despite declining health, he was always kind and gracious to those he lived with, and had unswerving loyalty to his friends.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941
Obituary :
Fr. Henry McArdle
1888 Born 6th June
1988 Entered. Tullabeg 1st June
1909 Tullabeg, Novice
1910 Tullabeg, Junior
1911 Belvedere Doc
1912 Stonyhunt Phil. an. l
1913 Stonyhunt Phil. an. 2
1914 Gemert (Holland) Phil. an. 3
1915 In itinere (to Australia)
1916-19 Riverview, Doc
1920-23 Milltown Theol
1924 Louvain Tertian
1925 Australia (Recens)
1928 Australia, Milson’s Point, Oper., Doc. an. 8 mag
1927-28 Australia, Milson’s Point, Paeef. stud. Cons. dom
1929-30 Australia, Richmond Minister, Oper. Cons. dom
1931 Australia, Richmond Minister, Oper. Cons. dom. Proc. dom.
1932-34 Australia, St. Patrick's College, Proc. dom. Doc. an 13 Mag., Conf. alum
1935-37 Australia, St. Patrick's College, Doc. an. 16 Mag, Conf. dom and alum, Praef. od
1938 Australia, Extra domos
1939-40 Australia, Riverview, Doc. an. 18 Mag Conf. dom.

Fr. H. McArdle died in Melbourne, Nov. 6, 1940. RIP

McCann, James, 1875-1951, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/754
  • Person
  • 22 February 1875-26 January 1951

Born: 22 February 1875, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died 26 January 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Sialkot CFA, 4th Cavalry Division, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 2 1951

Obituary :

Father James McCann

Fr. James McCann was born in 1875, educated at Beaumont College and apprenticed to stockbroking in his father's office, on his return from school. In 1896 he became qualified and was taken into partnership by his father, who had a high opinion of his business acumen and knowledge of finance. But in 1899 he renounced brilliant worldly prospects to enter the Jesuit noviceship of the Irish Province in Tullabeg. A headline had been set him two years earlier by his lifelong friend Edward Dillon, and the example of both was followed later by Fr. McCann's sister, who startled Dublin society by quitting it and joining the Colletines in Manchester, from which she was transferred to Carlow and later to Simmons Court Road, Ballsbridge.
From Tullabeg he went to Gemert in Holland to study philosophy. On his return he was assigned to Belvedere College and taught there for four years. Then he crossed the city to Milltown Park for his theological training, and was ordained in 1911. A year later he was appointed as Minister and Bursar in Milltown itself. In 1917 he vacated this office to serve as military Chaplain in France. From 1920 to 1924 he filled the post of Minister in Clongowes. Then he switched back to Milltown Park as Director of Retreats. In 1932 he joined the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St. as Operarius and Bursar. In this post he gave proof of his business ability, and foreseeing the outbreak of World War II in good time, he quietly laid in large stocks of all household commodities which would endure storage without perishing. He thus insured his community from the shortages and hardships that pressed so heavily on all civilians during what was euphemistically known as “the emergency”.
In the status of 1946 he was relieved of his burden and sent back to Milltown Park to husband his strength - visibily waning - and prepare for death.
This he did to the edification of his brethren through over four years of increasing debility (marked by recurring collapses, calling for Extreme Unction). In these his courage and trust in God never wavered. Death held no terror for him. He often confided to friends that he longed for it, and found his severest cross in the tedium of waiting for release. It was long acoming, and he had much to suffer, but it came at last, quietly, painlessly, not like a thief in the night, but by day and rather like a nurse administering an injection of morphia - the euthanasia of the angel of death.
The change of life involved for him in entering the Tullabeg noviceship must have been trying to every natural instinct. Five or six years older than most of the ex-schoolboys about him and long accustomed to the sports and recreations of the wealthiest circles in Irish life, he yet took to the new life as if to the manner born. An enthusiastic rider and polo-player he faced the novel course before him (with hurdles as stiff in the moral order as Valentine's or Becher's Brook) eagerly, and he never lost a stirrup or “clouted timber”. He surmounted all obstacles in a curiously effortless manner, and was a shining example to younger riders in the race.
All through the years he ran true to earlier form. He carried the handicap of precarious health without letting it interfere with his varied activities. He had one great natural advantage, namely the innate high-mindedness of a gentleman. And that, elevated by grace, always gives a fine religious character. He had courage and enterprise. These qualities he displayed conspicuously in the crisis of Easter Week, when, regardless of danger, he exerted himself to find the necessities of life for communities in distress, especially his own charge, Milltown Park, and his sister's isolated nuns in Simmons Court Road. Still more when he rode round to various hospitals to attend the wounded, and berated the “loyalist” staff of one of them into equal treatment for Rebels and Tommies alike.
He showed them yet again when in 1917 he volunteered for service as a Chaplain in World War I. Several doctors declared his health unequal to the task. But he took no notice of the warning and forced his way through. He began in March of that year with a cavalry regiment, serving as infantry. He was invalided to London before the end of the year. Returning when fit for duty he was in the line by March, 1918 (this time in an infantry brigade) when the last great German push began. He remained till the end of the war and went into Germany with the occupying troops. During these years he won the esteem and affection of officers and men - also the official recognition of the M.C.
Though he had put from him all personal attachment to riches, he retained to the end a keen interest in questions of finance. But only to detect and point out the weaknesses and dangers of the whole capitalistic system of the nineteenth century. He shared his father's views that it was utterly top-heavy and destined to collapse under the impact of the first great war that might occur. It was surely ironic that, already in the nineties of the last century, the McCanns, father and son, who were probably the most successful stockbrokers of their day in Ireland, should warn their countrymen against the triumphant credit system then in vogue, and universally deemed “as safe as the bank of England” - the most popular comparison on the lips of men till 1914.
Fr. McCann in later years wrote an article in Studies explaining his father's heroic campaign, about the turn of the century, to alert Ireland to the true state of affairs and solicit all Irishmen to concentrate on the task of calling our invested millions home and devoting them to the task of developing agriculture, native industries, efficient transport, irrigation, reafforestation - just all those things we are busy about now, half-a-century later, when the native capital necessary for accomplishing them has largely vanished or turned to mere paper in the vaults of banks. But the McCann voice was a Cassandra voice. The British parliament turned a deaf ear to it as obvious economic heresy.
Even at home it was little heeded. And now we know the fulness of our gain. Fr. James did certainly love to talk of all these dreams of long ago. And took a certain unmalicious pleasure in saying: “I told you so”. Some listened and were interested, but more were just irritated and bored. It is the fate of prophets, natural or supernatural, in all spheres of existence. Fr. McCann, however, had become too detached in his own heart from the Kingdom of the World to be put out by such things. His eyes were fixed upon the Urbs Caelestis into which, we may well trust, he has entered, not exactly by violence, but by knocking at the gates with brisk aplomb, saluting St. Peter and saying Adsum!

McCarthy, Patrick, 1875-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1691
  • Person
  • 28 May 1875-25 April 1946

Born: 28 May 1875, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 16 February 1894, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 25 April 1946, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1905 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1911 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McCarthy was born in Collingwood and educated at St Ignatius', Richmond, and later at St Patrick's College, 1890-93, where he had been a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and an altar server. He was always regarded as a person of high principle, and was a good influence among his contemporaries.
He entered the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 16 February 1894. After his juniorate there, he taught at Riverview and St Aloysius' College, 1898-04. Philosophy studies followed at Valkenburg, 1904-07, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1907-10. He made tertianship at Linz, Austria, the following year, and then returned to Australia.
He taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1911-15, and was then appointed socius to the master of novices at Loyola College, Greenwich, 1915-18, and again, 1928-31. During
the war he became chaplain to the German internees at Holdsworthy camp. He returned to St Aloysius' College in 1919, and was prefect of studies for a year before his posting to Sevenhill as superior and parish priest.
Here he did his best work, and was highly regarded as an outstanding preacher in the archdiocese. However, he was thrown from a motorcycle in January 1927, was unconscious for
almost a fortnight, and on sick leave for some months. It was believed this affected his health and temper . His whole character and disposition changed entirely. Formerly the mildest and most imperturbable of men, he became at times irritable and impatient, and made himself clear in no uncertain manner when things were not done as he thought they should be. Most people knew that the real man was kind and gentle. He helped so many people during his pastoral ministry.
After a short stay at Richmond and Greenwich, McCarthy returned to Sevenhill as superior, 1931-33, and then taught at St Patrick's College and Xavier College until 1938 when he went to the parish of Hawthorn until his death. This occurred suddenly when he was visiting a home to distribute Communion to the sick. He had had heart disease for some years, but this had not interfered with his pastoral work or the regularity of his life.
He was a tiny little man, full of vigor and fire. With the novices he was quick and nervous in manner, but also lively and humorous, brightening up the noviciate perceptibly. Children in schools catechised by the novices greatly enjoyed his occasional visits. He was a practical man full of common sense and a very sound, though not spectacular, preacher and retreat-giver. He managed his rather peculiar community at Sevenhill very well before his accident.

McCarthy, Peter, 1591-1660, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1692
  • Person
  • 1591-28 December 1660

Born: 1591, Belgium
Entered: 22 September 1617, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 03 April 1627, Mechelen, Belgium
Died: 28 December 1660, Roermond, Netherlands - Belgicae Province (BELG)

Son of Charles and Anne Wynter
Place of birth Trefontanensis - Rome? or could be Cerfontaine in Belgium
Fellow Novice of St Jan Berchmans. Studied at Antwerp
1638 “Fr Peter Carthy Superior in altero exercitu”
1642 at Dunkirk
Taught Humanities and Spiritual Father. On Castrensis Mission

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Charles and Anne née Wynter
Fellow Novice of Jan Berchmans
1638 He and William Boyton were on the Dutch Mission; He was Chaplain-in-Chief or Head Camp Missioner;
He was “Trifontanensis” by birth

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Charles (from the noble family de Clancar) an offier in the Spanish Army, and Anna née Wynter (she was Flemish)
He had already studied Humanities at the Jesuit College in Antwerp before Ent 22 September 1617 Mechelen
At Mechelen one of his fellow Novices was Jan Berchmans
After First Vows be was sent for studies in Philosophy to Antwerp and then Louvain. He then did three years Regency at BELG Colleges.
1694 He then returned to Louvain for Theology, and he was Ordained at Mechelen 03 April 1627
After Ordination he was in BELG as Operarius and frequently as a Military Chaplain. His longest periods of service were at Breda and Dunkirk, but he also worked at Ghent, Brussels and Roermond, where he spent the las four years of his life, dying there 28 December 1660
Not regarded as a “foreigner” in Ireland, he was frequently asked for by William Bathe for the Irish Mission. His capacity for languages (he was fluent in eight) meant it was decided he would be more useful remaining in Belgium, particularly because of his special qualities as a Military Chaplain, where his facility in languages meant he could minister to many different races of the Spanish Army based in the Low Countries.

McGlade, Patrick, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/287
  • Person
  • 03 April 1891-13 August 1966

Born: 03 April 1891, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 13 August 1966, Warrenpoint, County Down

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Had studied for a BA in Arts at UCD before entry.

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
1925-1926 Tertianshiup at Exaeten

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Loose leaf note in CatChrn : Entitled “Left Stonyhurst for Castle Brown”
23 Oct 1815

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 1 1967

Obituary :

Fr Patrick McGlade SJ (1891-1965)

Father Patrick McGlade was born in Belfast on April 3rd, 1891. He spent some years at St. Malachy's College, Belfast, before going to Clongowes where he spent five years as a boy. He entered the Society on September 7th, 1909. He studied as a Junior in Milltown Park. His philosophy was divided between Valkenburg (1913-14) and Stoneyhurst (1914-16). He returned to Clongowes for his regency from 1916-1921-filling the posts of Gallery Prefect and Lower Line Prefect the latter from 1917-21. He then went to Milltown Park for his theology and was ordained on July 31st, 1923. Tertianship was in Holland. The remainder of his life is divided as follows :
Clongowes : Prefect of Studies 1926-27, Prefect of Lower Line 1927-31. Crescent : Teaching 1931-33. Emo Park : Retreat Staff. 1933-34. Clongowes : Teaching 1934-62.

I am glad to pay tribute to Father McGlade as a Line Prefect. As a young priest he was an extremely effective Lower Line Prefect in Clongowes, able to maintain the confident control which they need and like over boys of fifteen or sixteen, This was done without excessive severity, because his aim was not to produce a cowed, regimented, submissiveness, which might have made life easy for him. Discipline was never an end in itself he had some thing to give. Notably he engendered enthusiasm for photography, good literature and music. Silence in the library was insisted upon because he rightly judged that many boys relished that quiet refuge from the harassments of mob life. He took pains to develop taste in music, not merely to pander to immature standards; his dramatic scratching of the key across a low-grade gramophone record left an indelible impression on my mind as well as on the particular song. At this period he taught English - as he did for many years afterwards and managed to convey to a rather restless group some appreciation of the beauty, and power, of words. His own sermons and “declamations” were delivered in an immensely impressive, softly booming tone, and with an exquisite choice of words. They were invariably enjoyed.
What about games? He created, or directed, keenness for high standards in rugby, cricket, tennis, hurling and hockey, etc.; this without ever, to my knowledge, kicking a ball or handling a racket or bat. One felt, in spite of this, that he was thoroughly, un questionably competent. His performance as a rugby referee was accurate and stylish. But he commanded from an eminence; no one expected him to come down into the melee, indeed they would have been embarrassed if he had; he was riot to be jostled, Here again one learnt by experience that games vigorously and skilfully played were the most enjoyable.
There was a certain fascination about him, partly because at times he seemed aloof and formidable, indeed occasionally unpredictable. He was colourful, with a touch of the unorthodox about him; something of a character. I think he commanded almost universal respect. This he may not have realised, for he had a nick-name which he abhorred; it clearly embarrassed and irritated him; in fact it had no hostile or contemptuous under currents at all; it sprang simply from his very dark and determined jowl. For a while he was more commonly known only as “Paul” ; this is fixed in my mind by the memory of the death of the crease horse, “Paulina”, who was named after him, and collapsed so dramatically from excitement on the day that Col. Russell landed his plane on the cricket crease, about 1929.
But of course what gave him his exceptional influence was his ability to feel, and show, genuine personal interest in the boys and their groups. He had on those occasions a quizzical and humorous approach, which, coming from such a majestic figure, gave him the advantage of tactical surprise. But he never presumed or demanded intimacy or confidences, nor did he ever betray them. I am inclined to think, now, that he never knew how much people liked him. He was probably far more diffident about his personal relations than any boy ever suspected. He was an artist working in a rather difficult temperamental and emotional medium, always a hair's breadth away from disaster. He lived interiorly under strain; externally he presented an impregnable front. One sensed that he really delighted to see someone developing their own personality; he did not want to impose uniformity, nor did he want to know what everyone was doing all the time, above all he did not presume to think that if you were not enjoying yourself in the way he had organised for you, you could not be enjoying yourself at all; he did not intrude. He welcomed the signs of coming maturity, neither resenting the departure of childish charm nor expecting adult solemnity. God be thanked for his vital influence.
MICHAEL SWEETMAN

McGrath, Fergal P, 1895-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/453
  • Person
  • 18 November 1895-02 January 1988

Born: 18 November 1895, Dublin
Entered: 06 October St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 02 January 1988, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for a BA in French and German as a Junior

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1929 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1945 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1949 Fordham, NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
We may mention here a school story recently published – “The Last Lap.” Its author is Mr. Fergal McGrath, SJ. The book, which was mostly written while the author was a scholastic in Clongowes, has had an enthusiastic reception. The Reviewer in the " Ecclesiastical Review " writes of it : “It is a splendid boys' story. Probably neither Fr. Finn, or Fr. Spalding nor Fr. Boylan has told any better”.

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
Mr Fergal McGrath's “Last Lap” has been translated into Spanish. Much difficulty was experienced in finding Spanish equivalent for such phrases as : “getting his eye in”, “the calculating pig”, etc,

Irish Province News 10th Year No 2 1935
Works by Father Fergal McGrath SJ :

  1. “The Last Lap” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot
  2. “L'Ultima Tappa” - Italian translation of the above by Father Celestine Testore, S.]., , pub. Marietta, Rome, 1929
  3. “Adventure Island” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot Press, Dublin, 1952. School edition pub by Talbot Press, 1954, sanctioned by Board of Education for Higher Standards of Primary Schools.
  4. “Un Drama en Irelande” - French translation of above by M du Bourg. Pub. Editions du Closer, Tours, 1934
  5. “Christ in the World of To-day” - Pub. Gill & Son, 1933 (Lenten Lectures on the Sacred Heart)
  6. “Mother Catherine McAuley” - (Biographical sketch contributed to The Irish Way) Pub. Sheed & Ward, 1932
  7. “The Beefy Saint” - Pub. Irish Catholic Truth Society (a story for boys)
    Pamphlets
  8. “Canon Hannigan’s Martyrdom: - Pub. Irish Messenger Series, (A story of Irish clerical life)
  9. “The Catholic Church in Sweden” - (Edited) English C.T.S
  10. “Stories of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart” - (In collaboration) Irish Messenger Series, “Tenement Angel”.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. Fergal McGrath sailed from Cobh on 24th September for New York ; he will be lecturing in Fordham University in the coming year.

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 2 1988

Obituary

Fr Fergal McGrath (1895-1913-1988)

Born in Dublin [on 18th November 1895) and educated in Clongowes (1908 12], Fergal McGrath was so dedicated to the Society, which he joined in 1913 on 6th October, after taking First Arts in UCD), that it is impossible to imagine him in any other way of life. He was very proud of his family, particularly of the involvement of his father, Sir Joseph McGrath, in the development of Irish university education, and as he became in his turn the patriarch, his love for the younger generations was evident in the quiet, almost shy, allusions which he made to his nephews and nieces.
Having taken a BA at University College, Dublin [1917], and studied philosophy in both Stonyhurst (1917-'8] and Milltown Park (1920-'2], he taught in Belvedere (1918-'20] and Clongowes [1922-24] before beginning theology at Milltown in 1924. [He was ordained a priest on 31st July 1927.] Fr Fergal's tertianship was made at 's Heerenberg in the Netherlands, which was then a house of the Lower German Jesuit province. He found that tertianship dragged a bit towards the end and he was happy to return to Ireland and to Rathfarnham as Minister of Juniors in 1929. Fr Fergal became Rector of Clongowes in 1933, at a very important phase in the growth of the school, and remained in office until 1941, when he went to Gardiner street as Superior. Four years of study in Oxford, where he took a D. Phil., Occupied his years until 1948 and he spent a further year studying education at Fordham university in New York, Returning to Ireland, Fr Fergal was made Rector of St Ignatius, Galway, where he remained until 1953. Leaving the West, he moved to Leeson street as a writer and spiritual father, until he began his last superiorship as Rector of Rathfarnham in 1961. From 1967 to 1972, he lived at Loyola House. Leeson street was his final Jesuit home. Fr Fergal was Province Archivist from 1975 until 1986, but remained Custodian of the strongroom, dealing with researchers and with many written queries until he went to hospital early in December 1987. He died on 2nd January 1988.
Fergal McGrath was a writer, a Jesuit superior, a good friend to many people all over Ireland, with a vast correspondence and with an interest in everything. He could write scholarly books, short stories, novels of school life and many pamphlets and newspaper articles. He wrote with the same care and precision which he brought to everything he did.
There was no haste, but much prudence. He once said, rather unnecessarily, to somebody who knew him very well '”s you know, I'm a cautious man'” He gave himself heart and soul to any task assigned to him.
Blessed with a very strong constitution and with what seemed to be an inherent ability to avoid stress, Fr Fergal was remarkable in his adherence to a personal daily routine. He had great respect for his fellow Jesuits and found it hard to say anything even remotely harsh about anybody. Most of his experiences as a superior seemed to have been happy, but he never discussed any of the difficulties which must have cropped up in those years, such as the hardships incur red while building at Clongowes and the unease at being a superior in formation during what are known as the 'turbulent' 1960s. In a life which lasted for 92 years, there were obviously disappointments and 'might-have-beens', but Fr Fergal never referred to them. He was quite free from resentment and never wasted time by cultivating hurts. He recognised that the past had not been perfect and, with complete trust in the Lord, got on with the task in hand. This attitude made him a surprisingly free person, because first impressions could be of a man bound by many self-imposed rules.
It was this inner freedom, combined with his respect for others, which drew so many people to him. The person to whom he probably felt closest all his life was a man who died almost fifty-five years before he himself did - Fr John Sullivan. A biography was one sign of his devotion to Fr John's cause; another was his slide-show, of which there were both long and short versions. I remember a conversation in which he made an unconscious slip by referring to “St John Sullivan” and went on talking, unaware of how much he had revealed in that brief anticipation of the Church's judgement. He also did tremendous work for the Cause of Mother Mary Aikenhead.
Despite the long and very slow decline in his energies, Fr Fergal's last years in Leeson street were undoubtedly some of his happiest. As his long daily walk along the Stillorgan road was gradually reduced to a stroll in the back garden, as he became more and more grateful for the lift in the house, he gave the impression of great happiness, because he felt himself among a group of brothers in the Lord, who both cared for him and esteemed him. He lived to become the longest-serving member of the Province.
There were many changes in the Society which Fr Fergal accepted, but which he hardly understood and of which he did not fully approve, but here, once again, his obedience and his deep sense of commitment as a religious took him across hurdles at which he might have fallen. Fr Fergal was intelligent and was a liberal in the Edwardian sense of the word. Patience was one of his strongest suits and stood him in good stead on many an occasion when he might have been driven wild with exasperation, as when unpunctual scholars kept him waiting for hours after they were due to examine documents in the archives.
His radio was a prized and well-used object. Even at 92, Fr Fergal found that a session with his clarinet was a good way to relax and he never felt called to make major adjustments for the television era. His devotions took up an increasingly large part of his day and it was obvious that he was very close to the Lord. In somebody so accomplished, so well known that he received an honorary doctorate from UCD as recently as 1982, there was a profound vein of humility, as I discovered one morning when he amazed me by asking for my advice about some point in the Divine Office.
We worked together in the archives for several years. Having known many of the men whose papers are preserved in the Leeson Street strong-room, he was an invaluable source of advice. No question from me was made to seem silly, no letter from any enquirer was too demanding to merit his full attention.
I treasure casual remarks Fr Fergal made, such as “I don't remember Fr X, but I do recall the old men talking about him” or his stories about mishaps during a juniorate villa at Monkstown, Co Dublin, during the first world war. He spoke little about his own accomplishments, such as his classical learning and his good command of Irish, but he did pass on jocular pieces of advice, such as a piece of consolation he had been given in 1933, when somebody told him that “being a rector isn't too bad - there are even whole days when you'll forget that you're a rector at all”.
A quick glance around his room told the story of Fr Fergal's life better than any biography. His chimneypiece was lined with photographs of his family, of fellow Jesuits and of the present Pope. There was one small bookshelf and, piled beside it, boxes of papers relating to Fr John Sullivan. His wardrobe contained a few, well-worn clothes and his Jesuit gown hung on the back of his door. The attention of any visitor would be drawn to the most prominent object in the room: a desk, laden with letters from all over Ireland and abroad, with books which he was reading as possible material for the refectory and with a Latin Office-book placed close to his armchair.
Fr Fergal's last illness was mercifully brief. His sense of humour showed itself to the end, as he responded to a plea not to die in 1987 and thereby destroy the Province's death-free record for that year. When I last saw him, the day before his death, he was sleeping peace fully, his face serene. A well-lived life was drawing to its earthly close. It was a life in which many people were blessed with his friendship and I am very grateful for having been one of them.
Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ

Fr Fergal McGrath: Incomplete bibliography of his works
Fiction:
“Adventure Island “(Dublin and New York, 1932). “Tenement Angel and Other Stories “(Dublin, 1934). “The Last Lap “(Dublin, 1925; Italian translation “L'ultima Tappa”, Turin "and Rome, 1929; French translation “Au Dernier Tour”, Paris, (no date).
Education:
“The Consecration of Learning”: lectures on Newman's Idea of a university (Dublin and New York, 1962). “Education in Ancient and Mediaeval Ireland” (Dublin, 1979). “Newman's University: Idea and Reality” (Dublin, 1951). “The university question” in “A History of Irish Catholicism”, vol. V, pp. 84-142 (Dublin, 1971).
Christian doctrine: Christ in the world of today (Dublin, 1933). Life in Christ (Dublin, 1957).
Biography: Father John Sullivan, S.J. (Dublin, 1941).
Biographical articles:
“Catherine McAuley” in “The Irish Way”, edited by F.J. Sheed, pp. 244-'62 (London, 1932). “The conversion” in “A Tribute to Newman”, edited by Michael Tierney, pp. 57 83 (Dublin, 1945). “The Background to Newman's Idea of a University” in “The Month”, July-August 1945, vol. 181, no. 946, pp. 247-'58.
Pamphlets:
“Father John Sullivan SJ” (Dublin, 1942). “Newman in Dublin” (Dublin, 1969). “Youth Guidance” (Dublin, 1944). “James A Cullen SJ : A modern Apostle of the Sacred Heart” (Dublin, 1980).

◆ The Clongownian, 1988

Obituary

Father Fergal McGrath SJ

A life-span of ninety-two years, almost all of it in active life, would fill a long chronicle. Fergal McGrath’s was particularly full, not just because of his health and longevity, but more because of his talents and fidelity to his Jesuit priesthood.. His associations with Clongowes are especially strong, and the most important of them are almost impossible to chronicle, because they consist of friendships with hundreds of Clongownians, scattered across Ireland, Europe and beyond, who will remember this large, kindly, courteous and always interested friend as an important part of their lives.

A photograph of Fergal's father used to hang in the Rogues Gallery in Clongowes, a respectable Victorian figure: Sir Joseph McGrath. He had been a teacher in the old Tullabeg College, later became co-secretary with Sir James Creed Merridith of the Royal University of Ireland and subsequently of the National University of Ireland, and in this latter capacity he was knighted by what in retrospect can be seen as a dying British administration. Fergal did not often talk about his father, but his own identity was different. He was a strongly patriotic Irishman, committed to his country and its language, and without the animosities that could have marred another son of a knighted father. He took pains to learn Irish well, and used it when he could; so he was at his ease as Rector of an Irish-speaking school, Galway's Coláiste Iognáid, in the early 1950s.

He was educated at Belvedere and, from the age of 14, at Clongowes; after First Arts in University College, Dublin, he entered the Jesuit noviceship, and later studied modern languages, then philosophy, then theology. As soon as he finished his Jesuit training, with a tertianship in Germany, he was loaded with responsibility: the charge of Jesuit scholastics in Rathfarnham, then Rector of Clongowes, Superior of Gardiner Street Church and community, Rector of Coláiste Iognáid in Galway, and later of Rathfarnham Castle.

Fergal carried these burdens with a genial ease, but paid a price for them. He worried about his charges and spent endless energy preparing, planning and providing. It was as a prudent and promising young man that he was appointed to succeed Fr George Roche. The Clongowes he took over in 1933, and ruled for eight years, carried what then seemed a crippling debt. In the climate of the Economic War, money was short to a degree we can hardly imagine. Pupils, the main source of revenue, were scarce, and with World War II became scarcer. The contractor of the New Building had gone bankrupt. The college was not insured against this contingency, and had to take over the management of construction, and all through the thirties and early forties, suffered from a pressing and sometimes mounting debt to the banks which coloured all administrative decisions.

His last two years in Clongowes were overshadowed by the war in Europe, with all the fears and uncertainties it brought. Fergal organised (through the scholastics) a fire brigade for contingencies. He saw a tide of refugees from England rise and ebb, leaving him with many empty beds and financial worries.

He once remarked that he went to Clongowes full of enthusiasm as an educator, loving the scope that the job seemed to offer; but soon found that all his energies were used in surviving. He was a slim man of 37 when he went to Clongowes, but the burdens of responsibility and a sedentary job turned him into the portly figure we later knew. He tried in vain to reduce it. He was a modest eater, and well into his eighties he walked, and swam, and on holidays played consistent golf. His two splendid schoolboy stories, “The Last Lap” and “Adventure Island” show what an active, dreaming boy there was inside the adult frame. He wrote them in odd moments of enforced leisure, one in a convalescence from a long flu in the twenties, the other in spare moments when in charge of the Jesuit juniors. He relished the memory of a happy and carefree youth with its limited anxieties. Adult life as a Jesuit had for him few carefree moments.

Despite his worries, he was much appreciated in Clongowes, especially by the ten scholastics who constituted the most active and talented part of the teaching staff, and whom he supported and fathered in the kindest way. To the parents he was always accessible and understanding, generous in remitting fees in cases of bereavement or hardship, energetic in helping past pupils on their first steps in life. He never forgot Clongowes, though his last residence there ended nearly fifty years before his death. He would never miss a Clongownian funeral, and maintained an enormous correspondence with past pupils and parents who became his warm
friends.

Fergal's friendships were in many ways his greatest achievement - and he was a man of considerable achievements. He kept his friendships in good repair by visits and correspondence. They were planned, as every thing in his life was planned. He would delicately invite a fellow Jesuit to chaperone him on visits to widows or spinsters. He would bring his clarinet to play duets with an aging bachelor, a former colleague. When, in Galway, Bishop Michael Browne's mother died, Fergal agonised over whether it would be appropriate for him to approach the formidable old prelate with his sympathies. He made the move, and found that he was almost the only one to have ventured near the isolated and sorrowing bishop, who was deeply moved by Fergal's humanity. Here as elsewhere, Fergal's moves were for other people's sake, not for his own.

The others whom he befriended were from every part and condition in the country. Fergal knew the taste of poverty from his experiences of the thirties, and he responded positively, not just in individual acts of kindness, but interested himself too in the structures of society. He initiated the Social Study weekends which brought all sections of industrial and agricultural society to Clongowes for seminars of a high quality in the mid-thirties. He gave much energy to the Clongowes Housing Project, providing flats for the needy in Blackhall Place; and also to the Clongowes Boys' Club.

Apart from these concerns, Fergal gave innumerable retreats and lectures, many of the latter focussed on Fr John Sullivan, of whom he wrote the biography as well as a popular pamphlet. On coming to Clongowes he inherited the aura of John Sullivan, and he did more than perhaps any other man to convey to the public the impact of John's saintliness.

The public obituaries of Fergal spoke of him in that most ambiguous phrase, as “a distinguished educator”. He was indeed a sound scholar, well equipped for the task with languages, patience, a broad educational background in his youth, and an extraordinarily methodical approach to work. His study of Newman's University was a major work of lasting value, the fruit of four happy years of research in Champion Hall, Oxford, then in its palmiest days.

When Fr Tim Corcoran vacated the Chair of Education in UCD, Fergal's wide educational experience and high reputation made him a likely candidate for the position, It is said that Chancellor Eamonn De Valera, at the meeting to appoint the new professor, asked: “Is Father McGrath not interested?” But Fergal had withdrawn his interest rather than contest the chair with Tim Corcoran's assistant, W Williams, who he felt had prior claim on it, and whose late application was unexpected. Instead he spent a year as visiting professor in Fordham University, his only transatlantic excursion, but one that he remembered with warmth and happiness.

Fergal was a conservative and cautious man to the end. In 1987 he wrote to a friend marvelling at her word-processor, but preferring still to tap away at a typewriter he had bought secondhand in 1933. He did not enjoy the major changes in the Church and in Irish Jesuits in the last two decades. The disruption of traditions and the loss of vocations disturbed him - he was quite upset when the present writer grew a beard in the early seventies, and correspondingly relieved when the growth was shaved off. But he never became angry, bitter or vociferous. He reflected beautifully his master Newman's definition of a gentleman; one who never willingly inflicts pain. He was trusted to the end by all his brethren, whom he served to his ninety-third year as keeper of the Province archives. May one conjecture that what he must particularly enjoy in the Beatific Vision is “Deus Immutabilis”, in whom there is no shadow of change, who wipes all tears from our eyes, and has lifted all burdens and anxieties off Fergal's broad back.

PA

McGrath, Thomas, 1841-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1716
  • Person
  • 25 January 1841-23 May 1927

Born: 25 January 1841, Dublin
Entered: 23 September 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1874
Final vows: 02 February 1887
Died: 23 May 1927, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

by 1870 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1875 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1878 at Holy Name Manchester - Holy Cross Bedminster (ANG) working
by 1878 at Holy Name Manchester - St Helen’s (ANG) working
by 1885 at Mariendaal, Osterbeek Netherlands (NER) making Tertianship
Went to Australia with John McInerney 1885

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he was sent for Philosophy and some Theology at Louvain, finishing his Theology at Laval, after which he was sent to Mariendaal, Holland for Tertianship.
1884 He was sent to Australia and he spent most of his years there at St Aloysius Sydney, and was Minister there for many years.
1919 His health gave way and he was moved to the Novitiate at Loyola, Greenwich, and remained there until he died 23 May 1927

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas McGrath entered the Society as a priest, 23 September 1867. He completed his juniorate studies at St Acheul, France, 1869-70, and studied one year of theology at Laval, France, 1874. He taught at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, Galway, Limerick and Mungret, during the years 1875-84, before tertianship at Mariendaal, Holland, 1884-85. Then he left for Australia, arriving in December 1885 .
For the rest of his apostolic life, McGrath spent his time at St Aloysius College, 1885-1919, teaching French and bookkeeping, as well as being a thoughtful minister for a number of years. As a teacher he was recognised by all as kind and considerate, though a strict disciplinarian.
At Milsons Point he was mainly involved with pastoral work at the Star of the Sea Church. Because of failing health, he retired to Loyola College, Greenwich, from 1919 until his death.
For many years he was confessor to the Jesuit novices and the Josephite novices at Mount Street, North Sydney, He was considered a likeable man by those who knew him. He was bearded, and in later life nearly blind and almost deaf. He continued saying a special Mass for priests with poor sight until the end, even though he practically had to be held at the altar by the novice servers.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Had spent several years at business in Dublin before entry. Had been St Stanislaus student

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 4 1927
Obituary :
Fr Tom McGrath :

On 8th May Fr Tom McGrath the senior in age of, our Province, died at Loyola, Sydney.

He was born on the 25th January, 1841, in Dublin, and entered the Novitiate, Milltown, in 1867. He had a year's rhetoric in France, and made philosophy and theology at Louvain, with the exception of the last year, which was passed at Laval. 1875 found him Prefect in Tullabeg, and from that date to 1884. he did excellent work at Galway, Crescent, Mungret, and on the Mission in England. In 1884-85 he made his tertianship in Mariendaal, Holland, and immediately afterwards sailed for Australia. Until his health broke down he worked at St. Aloysius' College, First at Bourke Street, Sydney, and then at Milson's Point. He was for sixteen years Minister. In 1919 his health gave way, and he was moved to the Novitiate, where he remained until he died. On the evening of his death the Master of Novices selected as the subject of his points the life of the good old man. He dwelt on his patience under pain and humiliation, which were intense as the end drew near, on his great faith, on his charity--he was never heard to say an unkind word of anyone-on his respect for superiors, and on his exact observance of spiritual duties. The impression made on the youthful community was deep, for they knew that the Master's words were not a. mere formula, that the virtues he put before them found a living realisation in the holy life and death of Fr. Tom McGrath.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Thomas McGrath (1841-1927)

Was born in Dublin and admitted to the Society in 1867. He made his higher studies in France and Louvain and was ordained at Laval in 1875. For the next nine years he was prefect or master in Tullabeg, Galway, the Crescent and Mungret. He spent one year as master and worker in the Sacred Heart Church. Transferred to Australia in 1885, he continued his work in the colleges and in spite of delicate health carried out for many years the onerous duties of minister of the house.

McInerney, John, 1850-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1722
  • Person
  • 1850-1913

Born: 24 May 1850, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 28 July 1871, Sevenhill, Australia (AUT-HUN)
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows : 15 August 1889, Australia
Died: 22 March 1913, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Early Australian Missioner 1873 - first HIB Scholastic
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at Oniens Spain (ARA) studying
by 1885 at Mariendaal Netherlands (NER) making Tertianship
Went back to Australia after Tertianship with Thomas McGrath 1885

◆ HIB Menologies :
DOB 24 May 1850 Kilrush; Ent 28 July 1871 Adelaide; FV 15 August 1889; RIP 22 March 1913 Sydney

The Report below is taken from that which appeared in the “Catholic Press” of Sydney
“There was widespread regret when it became known that Rev Father John McInerney, a distinguished member of the Jesuit Order in Australia, a great missioner, and a patriotic Irishman, had passed away at Loyola, Greenwich ... on Easter Saturday after a lingering illness. He had been born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and came to Australia with his parents while still very young. The family settled at the Bendigo diggings, and for a short time he attended the High School at Bendigo. He went afterwards to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, and there he had amongst his teachers Fathers William Kelly, Frank Murphy and William Hughes. he was ‘dux’ of the school in 1869, and one of four who that year matriculated at Melbourne University ‘with credit’.
He entered the Society in 1871, and made his Novitiate at Adelaide. On 02/03/1877 he was sent to Europe for his studies, and he studied first in France, and afterwards in Spain and Holland. Indeed, he was studying in France when the first expulsion of Jesuits took place, and he was himself forcibly ejected from the College at Laval. He returned to Australia in 1885, and began his teaching career at his old St Patrick’s College. He was later sent to Xavier College at Kew, which had been established since his Entry. Later on he was transferred to Sydney and worked at both Riverview and St Aloysius. He then went back to St Patrick’s, but not for long as his life as a Missioner soon followed.
In 1901 Father McInerney went with the second Australian Light Horse Regiment as Chaplain, and worked for a year and a half with the forces in South Africa, greatly endearing himself to the men by his fine courage and unvarying devotion to duty.
Six years ago he was attacked by his first stroke of paralysis. He recovered from this and was able to work again at Richmond, which was ever his favourite field of labour. The less than four years ago his second stroke came. He was transferred to ’Loyola’, where he ended his days March, 22, 1913.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Mclnerney was brought to Australia as an infant, as his parents immigrated to the Bendigo goldfields, He was educated at Bendigo High School and St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. He was the first to enter the Irish province of the Society from Australia, 28 July 1871, and completed his noviceship at Sevenhill. After vows he taught rhetoric at St Patrick's College, 1874-76, and in 1877 left for Europe, first, to Laval, France, for philosophy, 1879-80, and then Oña, Spain, for theology, 1880-84. Tertianship completed his studies at Mariendaal, Holland, 1884-85.
Mclnerney arrived back in Australia, 1885 , teaching for public examinations at Xavier College, 1886-89; St Patrick's College, 1889-91; and St Aloysius' College, 1891-95, where he taught the senior classes. In 1894 he was prefect of studies. From 1895-98 he taught at Riverview, but in 1898 he was involved in rural missions. He continued this work until 1901 when he went to the Norwood parish, 1901-03; and to the Richmond parish, 1903-10. In 1902 Mclnerney went as chaplain to South Africa with the 2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse (2ACH). Failing health in 1910, including paralysis, required him to go to Loyola College, Greenwich, where he remained until his death.
Although he spent much time teaching senior students in the schools. Mclnerney was chiefly renowned in the province as a preacher and missioner in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand. He was remembered for his devotion to his work and the interest he showed in his students. He was very thorough and did not spare himself as prefect of studies .

McKenna, Lambert, 1870-1956, Jesuit priest, Irish language scholar and Catholic social thinker

  • IE IJA J/30
  • Person
  • 16 July 1870-26 December 1956

Born: 16 July 1870, Clontarf, Dublin City
Entered: 13 September 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 30 July 1905
Final Vows: 2 February 1910, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 December 1956, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin community at the time of death

Editor of An Timire, 1912-19.

by 1897 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1898 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
McKenna, Lambert (Mac Cionnaith, Láimhbheartach)
by Vincent Morley

McKenna, Lambert (Mac Cionnaith, Láimhbheartach) (1870–1956), Irish-language scholar and catholic social thinker, was born 16 July 1870 in Clontarf, Co. Dublin, son of Andrew McKenna, accountant, and Mary McKenna (née Lambert). Having attended Belvedere College, Dublin, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1886 and studied at the order's novitiates in Dromore, Co. Down, and Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly), before graduating with a BA in Irish and classics from the Royal University (1893) and taking an MA (1895). After further study in scholastic philosophy and theology he was ordained in 1905 and subsequently taught at Belvedere College, Dublin, and Mungret College, Limerick.

Lambert McKenna's English–Irish phrase dictionary was published in 1911, but it was the classical bardic language rather than the modern vernacular that principally engaged his attention, and from 1916 onwards he published numerous editions of bardic poems in Studies and the Irish Monthly – a journal that he edited in 1922–31. McKenna's edition of Iomarbhágh na bhfileadh (the ‘bardic contention’) was published in 1918, and his editions of the poetry of Aonghas Fionn Ó Dálaigh (qv), Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh (qv), and Philip Bocht Ó hUiginn (qv) followed in 1919, 1922, and 1931 respectively. He spent four years compiling the state-sponsored Foclóir Béarla agus Gaedhilge (1935), but the dictionary's scope was largely confined to the colloquial language of the Gaeltacht and it failed to provide Irish equivalents of many modern terms and concepts. His Dioghluim dána (1938) and Aithdhioghluim dána (1939–40) were substantial anthologies of bardic poems by various authors.

McKenna was an advocate of the social principles of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum novarum. Lenten lectures that he delivered in Limerick in 1913 were published by the Irish Messenger in its ‘social action’ series of pamphlets under such titles as The church and labour and The church and working men. In The social teachings of James Connolly (1920), McKenna argued (p. 7) that James Connolly's (qv) voice was ‘ever the voice of Tone or Fintan Lalor, though his words are often the words of Marx’. During the 1920s he wrote in the pages of Studies about such recent events as the Russian revolution, the short-lived communist revolutions in Hungary and Bavaria, and the Mexican revolution. In 1925–6 he chaired a national conference on the use of Irish in the schools, convened by the Department of Education, and its recommendations on the increased use of the language as a medium of instruction were accepted by the minister, John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv).

McKenna retained his intellectual vigour at an advanced age, and three works that he edited were published by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies when he was in his 70s: Bardic syntactical tracts (1944) and two bardic duanairí (poem-books) – The book of Magauran (1947) and The book of O'Hara (1951). He was awarded the degree of D.Litt.Celt. honoris causa in 1947. McKenna spent the latter part of his life in the Jesuits' house of studies at Lower Leeson St., Dublin, and died in Dublin on 26 December 1956.

Ir. Independent, 25–7 Dec. 1956; Hayes, Sources: periodicals, iii, 499–500; Austen Morgan, James Connolly: a political biography (1988), 59; Beathaisnéis, ii (1990), 50–51

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

Fr. Lambert McKenna is Chairman of a committee appointed by the Ministry of Education for the purpose of reporting on the National Programme of Primary Education. During the meetings of the Committee, very valuable evidence was given by Father T. Corcoran

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Towards the close of last year the School Inspection Committee sent, with the approval of the Free State Government, Fr Lambert McKenna on a visit to Great Britain and the Continent for the purpose of getting First-hand information on the working of various systems of Primary School Inspection. He spent two months at this task, Visiting England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :

Fr Lambert McKenna (1870-1956)

Fr. Lambert McKenna died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 26th December, 1956, after a prolonged illness. He was born in Dublin on 16th July, 1870, and was educated at Belvedere College, of which to the end he was a very loyal son. In 1886 he entered the Novitiate, then at Dromore, Co. Down, and having taken his first vows, he studied for the Royal University at Tullabeg, Milltown Park and 86 St. Stephen's Green. He took his B.A. in classics and Irish in 1893. He taught for one year at Clongowes and having studied for another year at Milltown Park he took his M.A. in 1895. He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg for one year and went to Philosophy, first at Jersey and for the third year at Louvain. He taught for two years at Mungret before beginning his Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. From 1906 we find him for three years at Belvedere, first as Doc., then as Adj. Praef. stud, and finally as Praef, stud. In 1909 he went to Tronchiennes for Tertianship. From 1910 he taught for three years at Mungret and for one year at the Crescent, In 1914 he was stationed at 35 Lower Leeson St. as Director of the Leo Guild. He was Praef, stud, and Dir. Leo Guild at Rathfarnham from 1915-1918, being in addition during the last year Editor of the Irish Monthly. In 1919 and 1920 he taught at Belvedere, being Praef. stud. in the latter year. He was Adj, Ed, Studies at Leeson St. for two years. From 1923 to 1934 he was back at Rathfarnham teaching the Juniors, being Praef. stud. for two years and Ed. Irish Monthly for several years. In 1935 he was assigned to Leeson St., where he was to remain until his death.
Fr. McKenna was, even as a student, strongly influenced by the work of Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill in the newly founded Gaelic League, He combined an exact knowledge of Irish idiom and poetical diction with an eagerness to see as many Irish texts as possible published and annotated with critical notes. He made his name in 1911 by publishing a short, but excellent, “English-Irish Phrase Book”, which he had compiled himself from the works of the best contemporary writers of living Irish speech. In the same year, as editor of Timthire Chroidhe Naomhtha Íosa, he began to print a series of unpublished Irish bardic poems, which were later continued in the Irish Monthly and in Studies. His edition of the “Contention of the Bards” - a work which had been begun by his friend Tomás Ó Nulláin, but had been left incomplete - appeared in 1918; the poems of Aongus Ó Dálaigh in 1919; the poems of Philip Bocht Ó h-Uigion in 1931; Dioghluim Dána in 1938; Aithdioghluim Dána in 1939-40; poems from the Book of Magauran and Bardic Syntactical Tracts in 1944; poems from the Book of O'Hara in 1947. He was awarded the degree of M.Litt.Celt. in 1914, he was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1932 and he was given the degree of D.Litt.Celt. (honoris causa) in 1947.
Fr. McKenna took an active part in organising the Irish College at Ballingeary in its early years, and he was in close touch with Pearse when he was headmaster of Sgoil Éanna. The success of his phrase book, which passed through several editions, caused the Irish Government to appoint him as editor of a more ambitious Foclóir Béarla agus Gaedhilge, which was published in 1935. But this volume has less of Fr. McKenna's personal sense of idiom, and less also of his early enthusiasm for the spoken Irish language.
Apart from his life-long devotion to Irish studies, Fr. McKenna took a keen interest in what was - before 1914 in Ireland - the new study of Catholic social principles. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild during the first World War and during the post-war years. He thus came into personal contact with many young Irish Catholic laymen, who shared his interests and who looked to him for guidance. About this time he published several pamphlets, of which his “Social Principles of James Connolly” was the most notable. In the early years of the Irish Free State he was appointed chairman of a commission, which in 1925 made a report on the first (1922) national programme of primary education and laid the foundations of the present scheme.
In 1924, he published “The Life and Work of Fr. James Cullen, S.J.” He strove to make the Irish Monthly, during his years as Editor, an organ of Irish Catholic social and educational thought. He was also active as adviser to more than one Dublin charity. Those who knew him well in his last years can testify that to the end of a long life he maintained an active interest in a surprisingly wide range of Catholic activities, and especially in every form of the lay apostolate. He was for many years keenly interested in the Legion of Mary, and Mr. Frank Duff was one of the group which stood around his grave at Glasnevin.
Those who lived in community with Fr, McKenna at any time, and very specially in his last years, will remember him as a priest who was also an admirable community man. He had a wonderful memory for anecdotes of Irish Jesuit life, many of them stretching back to days that lie now in a very distant past for most of us; and his gifts as raconteur and mimic made his conversation a constant pleasure for all who were present. He suffered much throughout life from his health, and his infirmities were a great trial to him in his last years, But he bore them all with a wry sense of humour, which won sympathy from all his brethren. Few members of the Province have done as much for practical social work in Ireland as well as for the promotion of Irish studies. Suaimhneas síorrai dé anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Lambert McKenna 1870-1956
Fr Lamber McKenna was a great Irish scholar. His Irish Phrase Dictionary and the Larger English-Irish Dictionary are monuments to his name.. He also edited numerous Irish texts for the Irish Texts Society, In his early years he took an active part in the Irish College at Ballingeary, and he was in close touch with Padraic Pearse as Headmaster at St Enda’s.

His other great interest was Social Studies. At a time such interests were not so popular as they are nowadays. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild for years. His pamphlets on Social Questions were well appreciated in his day, and continued so, especially his “Social Principles of James Connolly”. He also published the Life of Fr James Cullen, the Founder of the Pioneers.

As a community man he was invaluable, and Leeson Street community, where he spent his last years, is still rich with his anecdotes of Irish Jesuit Life.

He retained to the end an amazing influence with a wide range of Catholic activities, especially those of the lay apostolate.

He died on December 26th 1956, a first class scholar, a thorough Jesuit, and an inveterate enemy of anything that was false or pretentious.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Lambert McKenna (1870-1956))

A native of Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his higher studies in Dublin, Jersey and Louvain and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1905. His teaching career ended in 1920. He spent one year at Crescent College, 1912-13. Father McKenna's gifts did not include teaching ability although he was a brilliant classical student and had carried off high honours in the old Royal University. With the growth of the Gaelic League he became absorbed in the study of the Irish language, and by 1911 published his English-Irish Phrase Book. His name appears frequently in the list of learned editions of Irish works issued by the Irish Texts Society. For many years he published with translations a series of hitherto unprinted bardic poems. These may be read in the past numbers of the Irish Monthly (at present, dormant) and Studies. His scholarship in Irish studies was recognised by the degree of MLittCelt from the NUI (1914), the membership of the Royal Academy (1932) and the degree of DLittCelt (honoris causa) of the NUI (1947). Father McKenna took an active part in organising the Irish College in Ballingeary in its early years. His government-sponsored Foclóir Bearla agus Gaedhilge appeared in 1935.

Yet, Father McKenna's high attainments in Irish scholarship are not his only claim to remembrance. He was a pioneer in the study of Catholic social principles. From his pen came also a considerable number of pamphlets, most notable among which was his Social Principles of James Connolly. To the end of his long life he took an active interest in a wide range of works of the lay apostolate.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1957

Obituary

Father Lambert McKenna SJ

Fr Lambert McKenna died in St Vincent's Nursing Home on 26th December, after a prolonged illness. He was born in Dublin on 16th July, 1870, and was educated at Belvedere College, of which to the end he was a very loyal son. In 1886 he entered the Society of Jesus Novitiate, then at Dromore, Co Down. After taking his degree at the old Royal University he taught for a year, and took his MA in 1895. After finishing the Philosophy course be taught for two years at Mungret before beginning Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. From 1906 we find him for three years at Belvedere, first as teacher and then as Prefect of Studies. From 1910 to 1913 he taught again at Mungret and spent the year 1914 teaching at the Crescent, In 1914. he was stationed at 35 Lr Leeson Street, as Director of the Leo Guild. In 1919 and 1920 he taught at Belvedere, being Prefect of Studies again in the latter year. From 1923 to 1934 he was in Rath farnham Castle teaching the students attending University College, and for most of that time editing “The Irish Monthly”. In 1935 he returned to Leeson Strcet, where he was to remain till his death.

Fr McKenna was even as a student strongly influenced by the work of Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill in the newly founded Gaelic League He combined an exact knowledge of Irish idiom and poetical diction with an eagerness to see as many Irish texts as possible published and annotated with critical notes. He made his name in 1911 by publishing a short but excellent “English-Irish Phrase Book”, which he had compiled himself from the works of the best contemporary writers of living Irish speech.

Fr. McKenna took an active part in organizing the Irish College at Ballingeary in its early days, and he was in close touch with Pearse when he was headmaster of Scoil Éanna. The success of his phrase book, which passed through several editions, caused the Government to appoint him, editor of a more ambitious “Foclóir Béarla agur Gaedhilge”, which was published in 1935. But this volume, according to the critics, has less of his: personal sense of idiom and less also of his early enthusiasm.

Apart from his life-long devotion to Irish studies, Fr. McKenna took a keen interest in what was-- before 1914 in Ireland - the new study of Catholic social principles. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild during the first World War and during the post-war years. He thus came into contact with . many young Irish Catholic laymen, who shared his. interests and looked to him for guidance. About this time he published several pamphlets, of which his “Social Principles of James Connolly” was. the most notable. In the early years of the Irish. Free State he was appointed chairman of a Commission which in 1925 made a report on the first (1922) national programme of primary education and laid the foundations of the present scheme. He was also active as adviser to more than one Dublin charity and those who knew him well in his last years can testify that to the end of a long life he maintained an active interest in a surprisingly wide range of Catholic activities and especially in every form of the lay apostolate.

Morris, Patrick J, 1882-1966, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/706
  • Person
  • 09 October 1882-10 March 1966

Born: 09 October 1882, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1922
Died: 10 March 1966, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1905 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1907
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 2/8 Battalion, Sobraon Barracks, Colchester
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 8 Battalion East Lancs, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Clipstone Camp, 13 lines, Mansfield, Notts

MorrisJesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-model-school-jesuit-2/

JESUITICA: Model School Jesuit
The recently published history of the Model School, Enniskillen has quite an Orange flavour – many of the old boys are pictured wearing the Sash. It is a surprise to find a Jesuit
among them, Fr Paddy Morris. His father, Charles, was an independent-minded educator and the first headmaster of the Model School. He built it up against the determined opposition of the local Catholic clergy, who saw it as rivalling the national schools under their control. In 1900 Paddy entered the Jesuits with John Sullivan (also educated in Enniskillen, at Portora), served as a British army chaplain in the First World War, and later spent twelve years in Belvedere, six of them as its Rector, before ending his days, like John Sullivan, serving the People’s Church in Clongowes.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Patrick Morris SJ, who worked at the Clipstone Camp in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, comments: “What havoc the influenza has brought... We had a bad time in camp here... Three of my boys died, but they were well prepared”. He caught the flu himself but “went to bed immediately and nipped it in the bud”.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Morris entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1900, and after initial studies arrived in Australia and Xavier College in 1907 where he taught senior students, and was assistant prefect of discipline, and looked after the choir and debating.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 41st Year No 3 1966

Clongowes Wood College, Naas
About 10.30 p.m. on Thursday, 10th March, Fr. Morris died peacefully in the college infirmary. He had been in failing health since the beginning of the school year and kept asserting that he felt his strength dwindling. Just after Christmas he got a chill and was confined to bed in his room for some ten days or so. As soon as matron returned at the beginning of the new term he was transferred to the infirmary. The outlook seemed gloomy but bit by bit he recovered his strength and by the beginning of March he was able to sit in his room and to walk about a little. He then fell a victim of the flu and though at one point he appeared to have taken a turn for the better, the improvement did not last. Special nurses were got for him but his position deteriorated rapidly at the end.
On the evening of 11th March the remains were brought to the People's Church where all the Masses on the high altar the follow ing morning were offered for Fr. Morris. On the morning of the 12th the remains were removed to the Boys' Chapel, the boys of the college lining the route. At 10.30 the Office for the Dead was chanted and Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr. James Casey. As it was Saturday many of the local clergy found it impossible to attend, but Monsignor Millar came from Newbridge and some priests came from other neighbouring places. There was a large gathering of the local people gathered at the graveside. (A notice on Fr. Morris' life appears at the end of this issue.)
Following Fr. Morris' death many letters of condolence were received. It was obvious that he had been widely known and greatly revered by a big circle of friends. Within the community he continued to the end remarkable for the regularity of his ways, his pleasantness of manner and his high esteem for spiritual things.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick J Morris SJ (1883-1966)

Fr. Morris was born in the town of Enniskillen in the year 1883. He was one of the youngest of a large family-five boys and five girls. His father, Charles Morris, was the first Catholic headmaster of the Enniskillen Model School, whose pupils were 80 per cent Protestant. His father was a great man in the town, and was known as Boss Morris. It was in this school that Patrick got his early education, and he never lost touch with it. He was one of the chief guests of honour when the school celebrated its golden jubilee. We read that he made the outstanding speech of the evening, and got an enthusiastic reception from all the old boys, Catholic and Protestant alike. One of his contemporaries wrote that he had a peculiar spring in his walk which always stood to him when playing football and other games - hardly the activities we associate with the staid Fr. Morris of later years, though indeed he was always a most graceful performer on the ice,
In September 1900 he entered Tullabeg as a novice, having Fr. John Sullivan and Fr. John Hannon as fellow novices. Fr. James Murphy was then at the height of his prowess as Master of Novices, and he gave the novices a very hectic time of it, which was not appreciated by all. Fr. Morris used to tell of the great relief he felt when, on the Feast of St. Stanislaus at the end of the Long Retreat, Fr. Keating the Provincial announced that the novices were about to be orphaned, as their Master of Novices had just been appointed Provincial. The novices had a far quieter life henceforth under the genial guidance of Fr. Michael Browne. Fr. Morris was the last survivor of the little band of novices who entered in 1900. After the two years noviceship, he remained on in Tullabeg for the following year as a junior. In 1904 he went to Gemert for his three years philosophy. While there he mastered the French language and became a fluent speaker, which stood him in good stead in after years.
At the end of his philosophy he set sail for Australia. He was one of a party that was brought out by the Provincial, Fr. Conmee, who was undertaking a visitation of the Australian Mission; and ever afterwards he held Fr. Conmee in the highest veneration. He used to say that he was the outstanding personality on the boat, and was sought after by all the passengers on account of his geniality, learning, and experience of life. Fr. Morris spent his six years in Australia teaching at Xavier College, Kew, where he first showed signs of that pre-eminence as a teacher which he afterwards attained. On his return to Ireland in 1913 he went to Milltown Park to begin his theology. He was ordained there on St. Ignatius Day 1916, and very nearly lived long enough to celebrate the golden jubilee of that day. Soon afterwards he was appointed chaplain in the First World War, and continued in that office for three years. He seldom referred to those harrowing years, but on a long-table day evening one would sometimes be given a glimpse of the sole Irish Padre in the Officers' Mess upholding the honour of the one true Church against all comers, in the days when the ecumenical movement was not as popular as it is now,
In 1919 we find him in Mungret as a teacher. The following year he did his Tertianship in Tullabeg, and at the same time acted as Socius to the Master of Novices. He then returned to Mungret for three years, the first as Sub-Moderator of the Apostolics, and the following two as Minister of the House. He than moved on to Belvedere in 1924 and remained there for 12 years. The first six he taught in the college; and then in February 1931 he was appointed Rector, and held that office until 1936. He than went to Emo where he was Minister and taught the novices. In 1943 he moved on to Clongowes, where he spent the remainder of his life. He took part in the teaching of the boys, and took over the care of the People's Church which he served devotedly until a year or so before his death. It was not until some months before he died that he notably began to fail. He used say that he would welcome death. It came to him finally towards the middle of March, when he passed peacefully away to his reward. .
To sum up Fr. Morris is not an easy task. There were so many facets to his character and work. A good part of his life was spent in teaching. All who came under his charge spoke in the highest terms of his ability in this line. Many have said that he was the best teacher they ever had. He was methodical to a degree, and a master of his subject, whether it be English, Latin or French. He was widely read in these languages, and was blessed with a very retentive memory a source which was often tapped to good purpose by the devotees of the Times Crossword Puzzle! He was specially devoted to Belloc and Chesterton, and knew them thoroughly. When a grammatical question turned up at recreation, he would handle the point with great clarity and exactness. He expected the boys to correspond. Anyone whom he felt was not doing his best would be given very short shrift. All held him however in high regard, and many were the expressions of gratitude to him, expressed by his former pupils at the time of his death.
Of his Rectorship in Belvedere he used to say himself that he had not been a great success. He generally referred to it half-jokingly as “when I sat in the chair of Moses!” He was probably too punctilious and exacting to make a really successful superior. Yet Belvedere made steady progress during his term in office. It was due to his foresight that the fine new playing fields at Cabra were acquired, when the ground had very nearly been disposed of otherwise. He took a personal interest in every sphere of the college activities, the studies, the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the Union, and the games though his intervention here may not always have been wise or tactful. Once he had decided on a course of action, it was very difficult indeed to get him to change his mind. On the other hand, he could be very kind and thoughtful where boys were concerned. On one occasion when some of them arrived at school cold and covered with snow, he at once brought them to the refectory and got them a hot meal before allowing them to go the classroom. He was very loyal to the school and its good name, and would tolerate no conduct that would bring it into disrepute.
Perhaps one may say that his greatest work was done when he had charge of the People's Church in Clongowes. He was devoted to the work, and was ever ready to come down from his room at the top of the Castle to hear a confession at any time of the day or night. His sermons on Sundays were prepared with meticulous care; and his kindness to the sick or those in trouble knew no bounds. As his name became a familiar one in the countryside, many came to consult him and to ask his blessing. They were all received with the greatest of charity. He was frequently called out to visit the sick, often long distances away, and had a special gift of bringing peace and comfort to the dying. One of the local curates drove him the whole way down to Carlow or Kilkenny to bring consolation to his own mother when she was on her deathbed. In earlier days, he rode his bicycle for many miles on these errands of mercy. In the latter days, when people saw he was unable for this exertion, and when motor cars became more common, they came in their cars and carried him off. He was ready to go at any time and any distance. It will be many years before the name of Fr. Morris will be forgotten in County of Kildare. The amazing thing was that he suffered from very bad health himself over a number of years - low blood pressure, asthma, insomnia, and a number of other complications, but his fighting spirit triumphed over them all, so that he was very rarely confined to bed until his last illness. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1966

Obituary

Father Patrick J Morris SJ (Rector 1931-1936)

Father Patrick J Morris SJ, who taught in Belvedere for many years and was also a former Rector of the college, died in March 1966. His former pupils will remember him as a lover of the classics and a truly well-read man. He was a brilliant teacher and imparted to his pupils an appreciation of great literature. An Army Chaplain in France in the 1914-18 war, Father Morris expected a high standard of loyalty and discipline from his boys. Nevertheless he could relax on occasions and his classes laughed with counterfeited glee at his classical or literary quips. In his later years he was magnanimous enough to admit that he had been too demanding during his years at Belvedere.

It was Father Morris who gave Belvedere its ideal - “per vias rectas”. A North of Ireland man, he set a high value on integrity. He had a shrewd and sound judgment and former members of his Sodality of Our Blessed Lady will readily recall the many lectures he gave to the Sodalists in which he enumerated the qualities they should expect in the ideal wife. All this was in the 1930s when student counselling was almost unheard of in Ireland. He always stressed a virile and manly holiness and a true and sincere dedication to Christ the King.

On leaving Belvedere he spent some years at Emo Park before his transfer to Clongowes. There, in failing health, he won acclaim as a devoted and kindly confessor in the people's church and as a Christ-like lover of the sick. In his last years he made no secret of the fact that he longed to die. On 11th March he went to his reward. God rest his soul.

Mulcahy, Charles, 1874-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/258
  • Person
  • 31 August 1874-12 May 1954

Born: 31 August 1874, Ardfinnan, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 12 May 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1898 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1911 at St Mary’s College, Kent, England (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 29th Year No 3 1954
Obituary :
Father Charles Mulcahy
By the death of Father Mulcahy, the Province has lost an excellent Retreat-giver, a much sought guide for young men and one of the best language teachers known to our Colleges.
Born in 1874 at Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary, he received his early education at Rockwell College, where he fortunately found a master suitable to his bent for modern Languages, including Irish, a subject hardly known to the schools in those days. In 1890 he went to Clongowes. There he was a diligent and successful student. A contemporary describes his first impression as “of an elegant young man, strolling round the cycle-track with Mr. Wrafter and a couple of Higher liners”. A small detail, but not without its significance. Apart from tennis, he had no sportive interests.
He entered the noviceship in 1893, encouraged in his Jesuit vocation by a friend of his family, Father Healy, C.S.Sp., a former Head of Blackrock College. We may, perhaps, say that he was fortunate to have finished his noviceship at a time when the pedagogical outlook did not force every Junior into a University procrustean couch, for he was immediately sent to Philosophy; two years at Valkenburg and one year at Enghien, where the foreign diet gives a flavour to speech, not to be found at home. He returned for the long period of scholastic service common in those days; seven or eight years of unbroken teaching work. All past pupils pay tribute to the excellence of his teaching, and his power to create interest in literature.
After four years at Milltown, and Tertianship at Canterbury under Father de Maumigny, whose spirituality influenced him profoundly, he returned to Milltown, for a brief year as Sub-minister, and Master of Juniors. He taught at the Crescent, 1913 and 1914 when he was appointed Minister and Socius to the Master of Novices and Master of Novices 1918-1919 at Tullabeg. During this period he developed his great talent as choir master. Though not a singer himself, he was a good pianist, and more than one Province choir owed its efficiency to him.
In 1919 he went to Clongowes as Rector and Consultor of the Province. St. Paul is very emphatic on the diversity of gifts. Government, as both profane and religious history shows, is among the rarer talents. It does not appear to have been his particular gift. After three years he was back at the teaching work, first at Mungret, where he was in charge of the Studies, then at Clongowes, part of the time as Spiritual Father. Finally in 1940 he settled down in Milltown, at the work which gave the fullest scope to his talents : Retreat work and spiritual direction of an increasing number of men, who got to know his worth in the Retreats, and would constantly return to consult him.
A prominent Government official pays this tribute to him : “I remember well his first appearance in the chapel at Milltown Park and every time I saw him for a matter of 10 years emphasised the impression that he was essentially a man of God, a man who appeared to walk perpetually in the presence of God. He succeeded in communicating that to his hearers. He was for me the embodiment of Ignatian spirituality. There could be no doubt whatever that he had lived a long life endeavouring to carry out the precepts of the Society as perfectly as possible for him. He carried on, until his health broke down, a personal apostolate with scores of men, particularly I think young men, whom he met for the most part in connection with retreats at Milltown Park. He had a charming sense of humour which kept breaking through the seriousness of his character”.
Similar testimony comes from Mount Anville, for whose Community he worked for many years. They say that he gave the exercises a way that could be understood by the children. And the kindness and sympathy shown them enabled them to open their problems to him readily.
It has been said with truth that the measure of a man's achievement and greatness in any walk of life is the devotion and application to duty which it involves : judged by that criterion Father Mulcahy has left an example which all can envy but few emulate. “I have”, says one in a position to judge, “known him over many years and have treated with him in many different capacities : I have never yet known him to deviate by a hair's breadth from the path of duty or allow the claims of any personal interest to obtrude on those of his office. If indeed there is one of whom it can be said that he gave himself to his work without stint, that man was Father Mulcahy”.
From the noviceship days, he was a keen reader of ascetical books. He could tell one, straight off, the best books in French, German, Italian, English on any point in the spiritual life. Though highly appreciative of general literature, the book shelf in his room became, as the years went on, more and more narrowed down to spiritual books, showing that St. Paul's invitation was a living one for him : “I will shew unto you yet a more excellent way”. And the more excellent way was the “conversation in Heaven”, whose gates advancing years reminded him were ready to open wide : “they that instruct many to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity”. Father Mulcahy had certainly done that for many years of self-sacrificing patience.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Charles Mulcahy 1874-1954
Fr Charles Mulcahy was born in Ardfinnan in 1874, and received his early education at Rockwell College and Clongowes.

Entering the Society in 1893, he did his studies abroad at Valkenburg and Enghien. His formation completed, he was appointed Socius to the novices in 1914, and in 1918 was made Master of Novices. The following year he went to Clongowes as Rector. Administration, however, does not seem to have been his strong point, so after three years of office he returned to the classroom, in Mungret and Clongowes.

He was a first class teacher of languages and music. From his noviceship days he was a keen reader of ascetical books, and could recommend straight off the best books in French, German, Italian or English on any point in the spiritual life.

In 1940 he returned to Milltown Park, where he gave himself to retreat work and spiritual direction, his real métier. His excellence in this line is eloquently attested by the constant stream of people of all classes who consulted him in the parlour. He had a special gift for directing young men. “They that instruct many unto justice, shall shine as stars for all eternity”. Fr Mulcahy had certainly done that right up to his death on May 12th 1954.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 27 : May 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : CHARLES MULCAHY
Dr Leon Ó Broin
The noted Irish scholar and former. Secretary of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs has graciously contributed this vignette of Fr Mulcahy. The author's laconic title for the piece is “An Old Fraud”: you'll see why.

When you went up to the first floor of the Retreat House in Milltown Park you saw in an alcove before you the room. 15A.where Charlie Mulcahy received visitors. It was a large, high-ceilinged, rather cheerless room, with little in it beyond a table with a raft of books, a typewriter, an armchair, a plain chair, an iron bedstead and a priedieu.. It was there in August 1943 - forty: years ago - I spoke to him first, I had seen him a week or two earlier as he. entered the chapel downstairs to give the opening lecture of a week end retreat. He was 69, but did not look it... He was an “old fraud” he would tell you, for his features were those of a man in his middle years, and his light brown hair was strong and plentiful. His walk gave him away, however; though quick and purposeful he shuffled noticeably. His speech was rather like that, too, it was quick and abbreviated. He repeated himself, but that may have been the teacher's practice of stressing the salient points of a lesson.

I have good reason to remember the first lecture of his I heard, because in it he laid the basis for everything he taught me in the next ten years or so, namely the supreme importance of understanding where all of us stand before God, our essential creaturehood and its obligations, the absurdity of Independent Creature. scribbler I wrote down an outline of his lectures and sent it to him from home, with a note asking him to develop a point that seemed to affect me particularly. His speedy reply was not quite what I expected, but it was thoroughly ad rem. “What you want to help yourself”, he wrote, “is much less thinking, and as much praying as you can manage. You seem to enjoy writing your thoughts. That makes for clarity, but hardly for reality”. Reality for him, as I was - to observe, was to live perpetually in the presence of God. Who could not but notice this when he walked in the garden or along the corridor in the direction of the community chapel? He was a picture of quiet, adoring concentration.

He invited me to come to Milltown “to talk myself out” on this question of reality, and when we met I remember how insistent he was that, in the matter of assent to the truths of religions, I should understand the difference between what was merely notional and what was real. He added that I would benefit from reading Newman on the subject. That visit was the forerunner of many. We became good friends, and his interest extended to my work, my literary interests, my ageing parents, my wife and family. He told me a little about himself, very indirectly though. He had run the whole gamut of Jesuit responsibilities, teaching in various schools, being master of novices, rector in Clongowes and Provincial Consultor; now he was “retired”, his function being “to pray for the Society” (Orat pro Societate), which did not mean, I suspect, that he could not direct an occasional retreat, look after the spiritual interests of a religious community, and conduct a personal apostolate among. young men he had encountered on those enclosed week-ends. These he endearingly referred to as his “toughs” They came to see him for. advice and to hear their confessions, sometimes two or three of them in a row and my own chats had to end abruptly when he would explain ever so courteously, that he had another “tough” waiting for him outside. Among his “toughs” in earlier days, if you can call them such, had been the remarkable Father Willie Doyle; and he always spoke warmly of Father John Sullivan with whom he had lived in community.

A native of Arafinnan, Co. Tipperary, Charlie had gone to Rockwell college where he was fortunate to have a teacher who developed his bent for modern languages, including Irish, a subject hardly known to the schools in those days. In time, I gather, he became one of the best language teachers in Jesuit Colleges. He continued his study of Irish in the Balingeary Gaeltacht of which he had pleasant memories - “It had become in a way a sort of home to me”, where he was able to indulge his love of traditional music. He was a good, good pianist and had considerable success with choirs.

As a Jesuit novice he had spent three years studying philosophy in Valkenburg and Enghien, and did his Tertianship in Canterbury under Father de Maumigry whose spirituality influenced him profoundly. He worried over what was happening in Germany during the war, and has my wife praying for that country ever since. He read German, of course, as well as French and English, but more in depth than in breadth. I imagine his practice being to return the books he liked, in order to savour their quality anew. He had a real feeling for the French language; when I introduced a young friend, whom he found full of “thoughts and tastes”, he felt sure that a bookman like me would approve of trying to break him into a little French.

“France was the country of expression”, he believed, and “a country that possessed a Rene Bazin must have a sane outlook for a young Catholic”. One of the things at which he grieved was that, having read a lot of Bazin, his immediate interests meant that he would have to defer beginning on him again for some time.

He hinted on the important things that were pressing on his time. “I have a young Deacon here for a six-day retreat. He is to be ordained on Sunday next. Say a word of prayer to the Lord for him”. In another letter he said “I have one young man here in Retreat. The one is as occupying as a complete bunch of them. He is gloriously in earnest, God bless him. He has a lovely Cork accent”. So his reading of profane literature dwindled to practically nothing. When now he talked of it at all, it seemed it was some thing he had to make an effort to recall. His stock of books became smaller and smaller. Those he retained had, all of them, an ascetical character; they were what he needed for his own spiritual purposes, and those he proposed to lend to his “toughs” in the hope of promoting theirs. I notice in one of his letters - all of which I kept - that the volumes he lent me included: Meschler, Father Arthur Little, and Saint Francis de Sales, At other times it was books by the Jesuits, Coleridge and Goodier, and Saint Augustine. I would feel the uplift of certain chapters in Coleridge, he assured me, and then went on to ask if I did not think it queer how calmly we talk of an uplift? Why, it means entrance into a new world and not merely a World like what Columbus discovered?

Mentioning Augustine, he would say that there was no need to commend the great African Doctor. “You know my weakness for him. He always touches the soul in that human way of his”. From Francis de Sales he culled reams from his writings on the religious life and on pursuit of perfections and gave me a copy of his transcript. Saint Ignatius was never far away from his thought, of course; retreats and his direction of souls were strictly fashioned by the Spiritual Exercises, That, for instance, was where the obligations of the creature came from; and this, on the discernment of spirits. “Keep joy in prayer and all will be well. If you are spiritually: unhappy, then you may know the enemy is near..in The doubt increases; the soul begins to be restless; it loses its sweetness and spiritual joy. Ignatius says at once, without any reservations, that this alone is a sign that 'the light is untrue”.

He gave me once a Ballade of Distractions that a colleague of his in the Society had strung together. It had done him good, and he felt sure I, too, would find it useful. It's real prayer, is it not?. You remember St. Augustine: Lord, you were with me, but I was not with You. That was the theme of the Ballade it began : Here am I in the chapel in retreat, / Lord, at your hidden glory humbly staring, /my soul, that ought to find its joy complete, / the splending of Your Godhead to be sharing / Has found the effort just a little wearing. And off it's gone, the countryside to view./ Taking, alas, a most terrestrial airing / my thoughts are rambling though I'm here with you.

Going through his letters I find some fine things: In one he says “It was not in dialectics God saved his people”. In another “God will be generous as is His wont. I have not had such a good time of late”, (His health was beginning to break) “but that, too is a gift of God as St. Ignatius tells us”. In another still “I will make special mementoes in the Mass for the musicians (my children: Eimear and Noirin) till their troubles are over. Our Lady, the Great Mother, will guide their hands and their brains”, and, when their examinations were successfully passed, he told Eimear not to forget to thank his heavenly helpers. “How human”, he said, “is the Gospel scene with its pertinent question: ‘Where are the other nine?’” And, reminding me and my wife of an approaching feast, he assumed we had a picture of the Holy Family in the house, that the children would gather a few autumn leaves to adorn it, have a lamp burning before it, and pay some visits to it till the feast was over. That would leave an impression on their minds that would do them good.

The autumn leaves typified his passion for flowers. He planted them in profusion in a garden rockery round the beguiling figure of a petite Virgin and used reproductions of them as bookmarkers.

When my father's days were clearly numbered, his concern for him, my mother, and me was most touching. “You may be sure there were many Masses and many prayers offered for him. I offered Mass myself of course and remembered him in my prayers all the day. May God bless him when the hour comes for bringing him to a better home. It will be, I am sure, a relief rather than anything else. What a grand solemnity there is in the scene with Martha: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me although he be dead shall live, and everyone that liveth and believeth in me shall not die for ever. There is no other consolation. May God bless and console yourself”. In his next letter he wrote that “the Lord has been good to the one He has called by shortening his waiting. May he rest in peace. I offered Mass for him this morning You may be sure of much spiritual help from Milltown, I did not get your message till close on 9 last evening. I hope you got my wire. I will offer Mass on Monday for the dead, yourself, and for the old lady who has been left to grieve, not too long in the Mercy of God one would hope, but God understands better than we. Is not our misunderstanding of what He does and why He does it pathetic and childlike? But you will be understanding it all better every day. May God bless you and console you”. He was very anxious about the dear old Granny, fearing that she might be unsettled; and, feeble though he was now, he went with the Rector one day to see her in her little flat. He continued to remember her in his Masses, putting her especially in God's care and guard.

The first sign that his own mortal end was not too far off appeared in his letters. They were suddenly shorter, disjointed, with words misspelt or omitted altogether. He tried to behave normally, insisting to the visitors that they should take the armchair, and, when that courtesy was refused, sitting bolt upright himself on the edge of it. He was an ascetic, of course, his only concession being a very occasional cigarette which he smoked from a holder, and which he laid aside when someone came to see him. But he could read no more, or read only without fully comprehending. It was utterly pathetic and yet somehow significant that, when the end came, all that this erstwhile lover of books had was his rosary beads and a crucifix. When speaking of the enduring patience of Christ he had said that a secret cross was a very precious thing, and that we shouldn't allow the strength of it to evaporate. It was a weakness to be always searching for a confidant, to be always blabbing out our grievances. In this matter he practised what he preached. He never spoke of his infirmities; even when he could hardly speak at all. When I last saw him he was lying awake but silent, his whole body covered in a white powder whose purpose was to mollify the burning irritation of his poor flesh.
God help us all at the end.

◆ The Clongownian, 1954

Obituary

Father Charles Mulcahy SJ

The death occurred on May 12th of Rev. Charles Mulcahy, S.J., Milltown Park, Dublin, a former Rector of Clongowes Wood College. He was aged 80, and from 1942 until failing health in recent year's compelled him to retire, he was on the staff of the Retreat House at Milltown Park, where he gave many retreats to priests and laymen.

He was a son of John Mulcahy, woollen manufacturer, of Ardindan, Co Tip perary, and was educated at Rockwell and Clongowes Wood Colleges. After a distinguished course in the Intermediate, in which he excelled in modern languages, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1893.

He studied philosophy at the German and French houses of the Order at Valkenburg, in Holland, and Enghien, in Belgium, and taught for eight years at Clongowes Wood before beginning his theological studies. A master of considerable ability, he excelled in the teaching of Irish, French, German and Italian, as well as Latin and English. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1909, and completed his religious training under the well-known spiritual guide, Père René de Maulmigny, at St Mary's College, Canterbury, then conducted by the Fathers of the Paris Province of the Society.

Father Mulcahy was appointed Rector of Clongowes Wood College in 1919, having previously been Assistant Master of Novices, and later Master of Novices at Tullamore. He was Rector of Clongowes for three years, and afterwards Dean of Studies at Mungret College, Limerick. From 1927 to 1931, and again from 1933 to 1941, he taught at Clongowes, and for most of this time he was also Spiritual Director to the Community and boys.

Father Mulcahy was much in demand as. a director and counsellor of souls giving spiritual guidance to very many people in all walks of life, both by letter and in personal interviews in this work he was distinguished for his quiet kindly manner, and for the way in which he could bring his own wide spiritual reading to bear on the problems brought to him.

Father Mulcahy will be remembered gratefully by the many clients whom he helped in this way, as well as by those who at Clongowes and Mungret Colleges, benefited from the unusual teaching gifts which he developed by meticulous devotion to duty as well as by careful reading during the years he spent as a teacher of languages.

He is survived by his brother, Mr. William Mulcahy, Director of Ardinnan Woollen Mills.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Charles Mulcahy (1874-1957)

Born at Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary and educated at Rockwell College and Clongowes, entered the Society in 1893. He pursued his higher studies, at Valkenburg, Enghien and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1908. He was master here from 1912 to 1914. Unfortunately for the Crescent, he was transferred to Tullabeg as assistant, and later to the important post itself of master of novices. From Tullabeg he was transferred as rector to Clongowes where he relinquished office in 1922. Father Mulcahy felt more at home in a classroom and until 1940 Mungret and then Clongowes benefitted by his matchless pedagogic gifts. He retired from teaching in 1940 and until his death was a member of the Milltown Park community. Here he gave splendid service as retreat director, while many religious communities in Dublin revered him for his ability as a spiritual director.

Mulhall, Joseph, 1820-1897, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1783
  • Person
  • 22 March 1820-13 February 1897

Born: 22 March 1820, Dublin
Entered: 21 September 1839, Turnoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1850
Final vows: 08 December 1860
Died: 13 February 1897, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

by 1853 at Maastricht (NER) studying Theology
by1860 at St Eusebio, Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
Early Australian Missioner 1866

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He first went to work in HIB Colleges having completed his studies in Holland and Rome.
1866 He was sent to Australia. Nearly al of his time there was spent at Richmond, and he was Superior there for a good number of years.
A very painful spinal disease, for which an operation proved unsuccessful brought him the loss of a lot of strength and final death at Richmond 13 February 1897.
He had remarkable energy and zeal in education, including founding the Convent of the FCJ’s for teaching girls in the school attached to the parish. He was also responsible for the completion of the St Ignatius Church at Richmond.

Note from Isaac Moore Entry :
1866 He accompanied Joseph Mulhall to Melbourne

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph Mulhall entered the Society, 22 September 1839, and was ordained in 1850. He worked first in Jesuit colleges in Belgium and Holland, and spent a year at Milltown Park, 1865-66, as minister. He also gave retreats.
On 12 April 1867 he arrived in Melbourne and went to the parish of Richmond where he worked for 30 years. During those years he was minister, procurator and consulter, as well
superior and parish priest, 1878-93. He was also in charge of the sodalities for women and boys and was a consultor of the mission.
Mulhall developed a very painful spinal disease, for which a surgical operation proved unsuccessful. This resulted in loss of strength and finally, death. He displayed at all times
remarkable energy and zeal for the schools in his region and established the Convent of the Faithful Companions of Jesus within the parish of Richmond. It was during his time as pastor that the large parish Church was finally built.

Murray, Michael, 1886-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/759
  • Person
  • 31 March 1886-27 November 1949

Born: 31 March 1886, Strokestown, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 February 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 November 1949, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1908 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1909 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1910 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1910

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Murray entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 February 1905, studied philosophy at Stonyhurst and Gemert, 1908-10, did regency at Xavier College, Kew, 1910-16, and theology at Milltown Park, 1916-20. Tertianship was at Tullabeg, 1921-22. After ordination he taught at Clongowes, Mungret, and Belvedere for short periods, before returning to Australia in 1927.
While in Australia he worked in the parishes of Norwood, 1927-30, Sevenhill, 1930-32, Norwood, 1932-33, Richmond, 1933-40, Star of the Sea, Milsons Point, 1940-42, and Richmond, 1942-48. His final years, 1948-49, were at Loyola College, Watsonia.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 25th Year No 1 1950
Obituary
Fr. Michael Murray (1886-1905-1949) – Vice Province of Australia

Fr. Michael Murray, S.J., whose death in Australia occurred on 28th November, was born at Strokestown, Co. Roscommon in 1886. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he spent a year studying engineering in the Technical College, Bristol, before entering the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College. Tullamore in 1905. He pursued his philosophical studies at Stonyhurst and at Gemert, Belgium, after which he went to Australia, where he taught for six years at Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne. He returned to Dublin for his theological course and was ordained priest at Milltown Park in 1919. He made his Tertianship at Tullabeg.
After a period in the Apostolic School, Mungret where he was engaged in training students to the priesthood, Fr. Murray joined the mission staff and conducted missions and retreats for three years in various parts of Ireland. In 1927 he returned to Australia and worked zealously for the remainder of his life as pastor in the Jesuit parish churches at Norwood, South Australia, at St. Aloysius', Sydney and St. Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne. It was in the latter church that Fr. Murray spent most of his years, from 1934 to 1940 and again from 1943 to 1949. Owing to declining health, he had to abandon active work during the past year. He was attached at the time of his death to St. Ignatius House of Higher Studies, Watsonia.
Those who knew Fr. Michael in the noviceship or later as a master in Clongowes or on the mission staff will retain the memory of his unassuming and affectionate disposition and quiet humour. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1950

Obituary

Father Michael Murray SJ

Shortly after leaving Clongowes in 1903, Fr Murray entered the novitiate in Tullabeg, and passed on to the usual course of studies. As a scholastic he as a Master at Xavier College, Melbourne for six years, before returning to theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained in 1919. After a few years in Ireland, he returned to Australia where he laboured all his life in parishes entrusted to the care of the Jesuits there.

His death occurred on November 27th, 1949. The Most Reverend Dr Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne, preaching at the Requiem Mass, spoke of two things which especially distinguished Fr Murray : his utter devotion to the sick, and his marvellous influence with men.

“His life”, His Grace concluded, “was almost wholly spent in the unobstrusive, hidden following of His Master, and it was a life of much labour and great service. His awakening surely was with Christ, and his repose was in peace”.

Nerney, John, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1821
  • Person
  • 8 March 1879-27 August 1962

Born: 8 March 1879, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 August 1962, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Older Brother of Denis - RIP 1958

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1905 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Nerney entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1901, and after his juniorate there, studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1904-07. He taught at the Crescent, Limerick, 1907-09, and at Clongowes, 1909-11, before studying theology at Milltown Park, 1911-15. Tertianship followed at Tullabeg, 1915-16. He taught at Mungret for a few years before going to Australia in 1919.
He taught for a few years at Xavier College, before going to St Patrick's College, 1921-23, where he was editor of the Messenger and Madonna. He did parish work at Norwood, 1923-33, and went back to St Patrick's College, 1934-38, continuing his work with the Messenger, and doing spiritual work with the students. At the same time he directed sodalities, including the very popular men's Sodality in Melbourne. Later, he was stationed at Richmond, doing similar work, and at Loyola College, Watsonia, 1940-43 and 1946-59. He also gave retreats at this time. His last years were at the parish of Hawthorn.
For most of his life in the Society Nerney suffered from a form of anaemia which made work difficult, but he contrived to get through a great deal of work all the same, and lived to a good age. His chief interest was in spreading devotion to Our Lady, and one of his chief instruments in doing so was the professional men's Sodality which was centred on St Patrick's College. Nerney directed this Sodality for 25 years as a benevolent despot. He had a great capacity for making friends. He took a great interest in people and their problems. Those who lived with him saw another side of him, a man with very definite views. He had a keen mind and could discuss theological questions in a subtle way.
He was also a regular visitor to the prisons, visiting 'Old Boys', as he used to say He was spiritual father at Loyola College, Watsonia, for many years, and his domestic exhortations were awaited with some expectation. They were learned, well prepared, devotional, and yet idiosyncratic. Scholastics were able to mimic his style, much to the mirth of their colleagues. Novices were regularly so amused that they had to be removed from the chapel! He rarely attended meals in the early days, preferring to eat alone at second table. He always had a simple, special diet. He was also a collector of sheets! When he left his room for any reason, the minister was able to collect many sheets that had been stored. Yet, for all that, he was much loved and respected in the community.
At Hawthorn he took an interest in the midday Mass, regarding it as his own, and keen to build up numbers. He died unexpectedly of a coronary occlusion.

Nolan, Patrick, 1874-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/305
  • Person
  • 25 March 1874-08 March 1948

Born: 25 March 1874, Dublin
Entered: 23 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 08 March 1948, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1948

Obituary

Fr. Patrick Nolan (1874-1891-1948)

Fr. Patrick Nolan, whose tragic death occurred on the 8th March as the result of an accident on Rathgar Road, was born in Dublin in 1874. Educated at Belvedere College, he entered the Society at Tullamore in 1891. He studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland and at St. Mary's College, Stonyhurst, and before proceeding to theology, taught at Belvedere and Clongowes for six years. He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park in 1907 and had among his Ordination companions, the late Fathers Willie Doyle and John Sullivan.
Fr. Nolan's life as a priest may be comprised under three main headings : teacher, preacher, confessor and Director of souls.
As a teacher for fifteen years (1910-1925) in St. Ignatius' College, Galway, his principal subject was History and Geography. Many of his old pupils can bear testimony to the skill with which he reconstructed ancient battlefields, mapped out the exact position of the opposing forces and made the dead pages of history live again. His interest in historical research, especially concerning Old Dublin, remained with him during his whole life and there were very few of the ancient streets and landmarks of his native city with which he was not familiar.
During his five years (1925-1930) on the Mission Staff, he was particularly conspicuous for his forceful and telling sermons and, but for a serious breakdown in health, would certainly have continued much longer at the arduous work of conducting Missions and Retreats.
But it is as a Confessor and Director of Souls, especially during his sixteen years (1930-1946) at Gardiner Street, that he will be best remembered. The many regrets expressed on his departure from Gardiner Street some eighteen months ago, and the many messages of sympathy that followed on his untimely death bear witness to the large and devoted clientele which he had established at St. Francis Xavier's. As a confessor, his ‘patient angling for souls’ was reflected in his patient angling for fish on the rare occasions when he found an opportunity to indulge in his favourite hobby. There were very few fish, great or small, in the box or in the lake, that he missed, for he always knew exactly when. to strike. As a Director of souls, too, he was singularly successful and knew the pitfalls to avoid, as well as he knew the rocks and shoals that might wreck an outrigger on Lough Corrib, of which, in his Galway days, he was reckoned one of the best navigators.
Above and beyond all his external work, however, Fr. Nolan was a man of deep religious fervour, known only to his intimate friends, He was never appointed Superior, but the fact that he was asked for by his brethren and appointed to undertake the office of ‘Master of the Villa’ for several consecutive years is sufficient indication of the esteem in which his affability was held by all. Charity and cheerfulness were the outward expression of his inward life, a great forbearance with others and toleration of their opinions and a very deep love of the Society. With such genuine traits of Christian and Religious Perfection, this contemporary of Fr. Willie Doyle and Fr. John Sullivan was well prepared to meet his death and hear from the lips of his Master : ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, as often as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it unto Me’. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Nolan SJ 1874-1948
Father Patrick Nolan was an expert fisher of souls. From 1930 to 1946 as Confessor in Gardiner Street he plied his skill, and thanks to his zeal and patience he made many a kill of of inconsiderable size.

He was born in Dublin in 1874 and educated at Belvedere and entered the Society in 1891.

He taught for fifteen years in Galway, then spent 5 years on the Mission Staff, and then the rest of his life practically as an Operarius in Gardiner Street.

He met his death tragically, being killed in an accident on March 8th 1948. A truly zealous man with a kindly heart and amusing tongue which won him many friends.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Patrick Nolan (1874-1948)

Born in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1891. He made his higher studies in Valkenburg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1907. With the exception of his last year, 1923-24, at the Crescent, as master in the colleges, Father Nolan's teaching career since his ordination was passed in Galway. Failing eyesight forced him to relinquish this work to which he brought enthusiasm and zeal. On leaving the Crescent, Father Nolan joined the mission staff for some five years when he was appointed to the church staff at Gardiner St, where he worked zealously for the next sixteen years (1930-46). He retired to Rathfarnham where he continued as a spiritual director to the end. He was killed in a street accident on 8 March, 1948.

O'Carroll, John J, 1837-1889, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/316
  • Person
  • 01 September 1837-05 March 1889

Born: 01 September 1837, Great Charles Street, Dublin
Entered: 13 September 1853, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA
Ordained: 1865
Professed: 15 August 1873
Died: 05 March 1889, University College, Dublin, St Stephen's Green, Dublin

by 1855 at Laval, France (FRA) studying Theology
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1859 at Feldkirch, Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1864 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maastricht College, Netherlands (NER) Studying
by 1872 at Stara Wieś, Subcarpathian Province Poland (GALI) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His father, Redmond, was first President of the VdP Society; his mother née Goold was related to the Dease family and that of Lord Justice Naish. His brother Vincent was an Oratorian. Both were educated at Clongowes.

His studies clearly had a linguistic direction, and he became Professor of Modern Languages at Catholic University, and Examiner at the Royal University, Ireland. It was said of him that he was a master of fourteen languages and literatures, and that he could converse in eight. In whichever country he studied, he quickly mastered both the language and dialects, and was appointed as an examiner there in some branches of public examinations. His likeable sanctity impressed everyone he met, and he possessed a remarkable innocence and spirit of penance. On the day of his death, 05 March 1889, he had carried on his research at both Trinity and Gardiner St, and on arriving home became very ill and died.

“We do not exceed the rigid truth when we say that he has left not one in Ireland who could fill his place. He was a master of almost all the languages of Europe ... He was an indefatigable student, always seeking to increased the range of his knowledge ... it was not unusual to have a sailor from a distant place spend time with him .... works on which he was engaged cannot now be completed .... his memory was tenacious, recalling for instance details of conversations that had taken place thirty years before ... he once stated .. that his study of the old Gaelic literature had convinced him that had the literature been allowed naturally to develop, it would have been rich in drama ...he was the last descendant of the O'Carrolls of Ely ... although naturally a bookworm, when at the Roman College he was always ready to companion another ... ”

William Delaney SJ :
“Being in Rome in the year 1866, I was present on many occasions at conversations between J J O’Carroll and a Dutch clergyman named Steins and also a Dalmatian named Jeramaz, with whom he conversed in the Dutch and Slavonic languages. I know these gentlemen intimately, and they assured me that Father O'Carroll spoke their languages with extraordinary ease and correctness. I was preset also several times at Propaganda College when he conversed in Modern Greek with a young Greek who assured me similarly”

Matthew Russell in the “Irish Monthly” :
“One day that St Aloysius and his fellow-novices were ‘at recreation’ - as the phrase is in convents - the question was mooted what each should do if he were told that in a few minutes he was to die. One would hurry off to his Confessor and try receive the sacramental absolution for the last time with the most perfect possible dispositions. Another would run to the chapel and pour out his soul before the altar in fervent acts of contrition. Aloysius said that he would go on with his recreation, for that is what God wished of him at that moment. Father O'Carroll did not guess, on the last morning of his life, that this same question was practically proposed to him, but it so happened that on that last morning he made use of these methods of immediate preparation for death. But his daily habitual life was the best preparation, and for the suddenness of his death was only an additional mercy. ‘Cujus anime propitietur Deus’.”

Father O’Carroll worked on cheerfully and earnestly, though it was known that he suffered from disease of the heart.

(full text appeared in “The Freeman’s Journal”, along with many Testimonials from his peers in various Universities around Europe, the morning after his death)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John O’Carroll 1837-1889
Fr John O’Carroll was the Mezzofanti of the Irish Province of the Society. He was master of fourteen languages and literatures, he could converse in eight of others, and could read eight or nine more. Besides the ordinary European languages, he knew Russian, Polish, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Serbian, Illyrian and Hungarian.

He was born at 51, Great Charles Street, Dublin, on September 1st 1837. His father was Redmond O’Carroll, first President General of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Ireland, and a direct descendant of the O’Carroll’s of Ely. There were only two sons, Francis who became an Oratorian and died young, and John who became a Jesuit in 1853. He was therefore the last direct descendant of the O’Carrolls.

He showed a linguistic bent early, so that in the various countries in which he pursued his studies, he was able, in a short time, so to qualify himself as to be appointed government examiner in some branches of the public examinations. He had no difficulty in being appointed to the chair of Modern Languages in the Royal University. He was as proficient in Irish as in the other languages, and he contributed frequently to the “Gaelic Journal” and the “Lyceum”.

His death was sudden. On Shrove Tuesday, March 5th 1889, he pursued his researches in Trinity College Library until four o’clock, and then continued them in the library of St Francis Xavier’s Gardiner Street. Hurrying home after five o’clock to University College Stephen’s Green, he was seen to be very ill. There was but time to administer Extreme Unction, before he expired at the comparatively early age of 52. His obituary notice in the Freeman’s Journal contained the following :

“We deplore the sudden death which has taken him off with only a few minutes warning. We cannot but regard it as a national loss. As it is, his fame must not grow to the measure of his intellectual abilities. But his name will nonetheless remain enshrined in the memory of those who had the good fortune to know him intimately and to learn from him, how transcendent gifts of mind, may be combined with the most touching modesty, and rare endowments of intellect enhanced by the charm of unaffected humility”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1906

Two Distinguished Scholars

I Father John James O’Carroll SJ

by Father Matthew Russell SJ

John James O’Carroll was born at 51 Great Charles Street, Dublin, September Ist, 1837. Through his mother, a member of the Good family, he was connected with the Dease and Naish families. His father, Redmond O'Carroll, is memorable for one fact in his life. On the death of a relative he had entered into possession of a large landed property, when he himself discovered in some secret place a will bequeathing the property to another. He at once gave the property up, and remained poor all his life.

John James O'Carroll was educated at Clongowes, as was also his younger brother, Francis, who afterwards joined Father Faber's Oratory in London. He himself, when sixteen years old, joined the Society of Jesus, September 13th, 1853. He was always singularly pious, humble, obedient, . and amiable. His bent in study was towards the acquisition of languages. His acquirements in this department were amazing. We have his own testimony on the subject in the letter in which he offered himself as candidate for a Fellowship of Modern Languages in the Royal University of Ireland. He was incapable of untruth or exaggeration; and therefore we know that he was thoroughly acquainted with Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Bohemian, Russian, Serbian, Dalmatian, and Croatian. To these we may add Latin and modern Greek as well as ancient Greek, Father O'Carroll is careful to claim a much lower degree of acquaintance with Icelandic, Anglo Saxon, Romanian, Bulgarian, Carniolese and Romaic. In The Irish Monthly for 1889 (vol xvii., PP. 211-115) a most interesting collection of testimonies is given from Max Muller and Sundry Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, etc., each bearing witness that in his own language and literature Father O'Carroll was as much at home as an educated native.

After working for many years in Clongowes, and at Galway, Father O'Carroll was placed on the staff of University College, Dublin, and was appointed an Examiner, and afterwards a Fellow of the Royal University. He laboured assiduously at all the duties of his office, finding time also for an enthusiastic study of Gaelic literature, to which he contributed much original work. In his personal relations he was a model of every amiable virtue, a man of singular holiness. He was always ready for the end, which came suddenly on the 5th of March, 1889.

The following is the obituary notice which appeared in “The Freeman's Journal” the morning after his death :

“We deeply regret to announce the death of one of our country's most gifted scholars - Rev. JJ O'Carroll SJ, Professor of Modern Languages, University College, and Examiner in these same subjects in the Royal University. To men of education in Ireland it is unnecessary to explain what a loss the cause of learning has sustained in him. We do not exceed the rigid truth when we state that he has left not one in Ireland who can adequately fill his place, He was a master of almost all the languages of Europe a master in the fullest sense of the term. He spoke them fluently, and he was an adept in their literatures. The Russian and the Hungarian, which are beyond the reach of most of our literati, were familiar to him - even the provincial dialects of these strange tongues afforded him scope for the exercise of his singular talent. He was an indefatigable student, seeking every facility to extend the range of his knowledge. The ships which brought foreigners from distant lands to Dublin sometimes supplied him with teachers, and it was not unusual for him to pay a foreign sailor to sit with him in his room by the hour and talk to him in the language of Sweden or of Iceland. Hitherto he had been engaged accumulating his stores of knowledge; he had just begun to utilise his vast acquirements for the advantage of others. Works of rare merit on which he was engaged must now remain unfinished. There is no one who can complete fittingly the tasks to which he had put his band, but which he has not been spared to accomplish. We deplore the sudden death which has taken him off with only a few minutes warning. We cannot but regard it as a national loss. As it is, his fame must not grow to the measure of his intellectual merits. But his name will none the less remain enshrined in the memory of those who had the good fortune to know him intimately, and to learn from him how transcendent gifts of mind may be combined with the most touching modesty and rare endowments of intellect, enhanced by the charms of unaffected humility”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father John O’Carroll (1837-1889)

A native of Dublin and alumnus of Clongowes, was one of the most remarkable Jesuits who have ever passed through the Crescent. More remarkable perhaps is the fact that no one saw anything remarkable about him. Father O'Carroll was the most accomplished linguist of his time. All his studies in the Society, which he entered in 1853, were made abroad. On his return to Ireland as a priest, this man of very modest, self-effacing bearing was sent to teach in the colleges. He came to the Crescent as prefect of studies in 1887 and remained here four years. Shortly after his departure from Limerick, Father O'Carroll was appointed to the position of Examiner in Modern Languages to the Royal University of Ireland and resided at University College, Dublin until his death. Father O'Carroll had mastered some two dozen European languages, between Romance, Teutonic and Slav.

O'Connell, Daniel Joseph, 1896-1982, Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/319
  • Person
  • 25 July 1896-14 October 1982

Born: 25 July 1896, Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Entered: 08 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1932
Died: 14 October 1982, Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1921 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1924 in Australia - Regency

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
O'Connell, Daniel Joseph Kelly (1896–1982)
by Nick Lomb
Nick Lomb, 'O'Connell, Daniel Joseph Kelly (1896–1982)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oconnell-daniel-joseph-kelly-15389/text26596, published first in hardcopy 2012

astronomer; Catholic priest; seismologist

Died : 14 October 1982, Rome, Italy

Daniel Joseph Kelly O’Connell (1896-1982), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 25 July 1896 at Rugby, England, one of four children of Irish-born Daniel O’Connell (d.1905), Inland Revenue officer, and his English wife Rosa Susannah Helena, née Kelly (d.1907). Soon after the death of his mother, Daniel was sent to Clongowes Wood College, Dublin. At 17 he joined the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg and in 1915 entered his juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle. He majored in experimental physics and mathematics at University College, Dublin (B.Sc., 1919; M.Sc., 1920; D.Sc., 1949, National University of Ireland). Subsequently he studied philosophy at St Ignatius’ College, Valkenburg, the Netherlands, where he began watching variable stars, especially eclipsing binaries that were to become the main focus of his astronomical research.

O’Connell planned to attend the University of Cambridge but, due to a lung condition, he was advised to leave Britain. In 1922 he arrived at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Sydney; he did his regency, taught physics and the next year became assistant-director at the college’s observatory. He returned to Ireland in 1926 to complete his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin. Ordained on 31 July 1928, he undertook his tertianship at St Bueno’s College, Wales. In 1931 he travelled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, to study at the Harvard College Observatory with Harlow Shapley.

Back at Riverview Observatory in 1933, O’Connell became director in 1938. At the observatory his research included seismology and the measurement of time with various kinds of clocks, as well as astronomy in the field of variable stars using the newly developed technique of photographic photometry. In 1935 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales; he served on the RSNSW council (1946-49) and as vice-president (1950-52), and became an honorary member in 1953. He was chairman from 1946 of the board of visitors of Sydney Observatory. One of the friendships he established while in Australia was with (Sir) Richard Woolley, director of Mount Stromlo Observatory. O’Connell presented radio talks, including a series of three titled ‘According to Hoyle’ on the Australian Broadcasting Commission station 2BL-2NC in March and April 1952.

That year O’Connell was called to Rome as director of the Vatican Observatory. On 26 July he left Australia, arriving in time for the Rome meeting of the International Astronomical Union. He continued his work on eclipsing binary stars, again using photoelectric photometry. A leading expert in the field, he was president (1955-61) of the commission on photometric double stars of the IAU. He published The Green Flash and Other Low Sun Phenomena (1958), which included colour photographs proving that the phenomenon, sometimes seen at sunrise or sunset, was real and not subjective.

At the Vatican Observatory O’Connell built up the staff and installed a 60/90-cm Schmidt telescope that became the observatory’s largest instrument. As objective prisms were available, the telescope was used for spectroscopy. With leading scientists he organised two study weeks—one on stellar populations in 1957 and another on nuclei of galaxies in 1970—and published the proceedings. He had personal friendships with three popes, especially Pope Pius XII. In 1970 he retired from his observatory post but continued as president (1968-72) of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

O’Connell died on 14 October 1982 at the headquarters of the Society of Jesus in Rome. He is remembered mainly for his work on eclipsing binary stars and the ‘O’Connell effect’ that relates to the rotation of the major axis of the elliptical orbit of a double star.

Select Bibliography
D. Strong, The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-1998 (1999)
Irish Astronomical Journal, vol 15, no 4, 1982, p 347
D. O’Connell personal file (Society of Jesus, Australian Province Archives, Melbourne)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Daniel O'Connell's secondary education was at Clongowes College, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, Ireland, 8 September 1913, and juniorate followed at Rathfarnham, 1915-20. He received his diploma in experimental physics and a Master of Science in mathematics at the University of Dublin, and later a doctorate in science from the Irish National University At this time he came under the influence of William O'Leary, the Irish Jesuit astronomer and seismologist, who at that time was director of Rathfarnham Castle Observatory in Dublin.
O’Connell then studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1920-22, and did further tertiary studies in science, gaining first class honours in most subjects. It was while in Holland that he also pursued spare time astronomical studies under world famous Jesuit scientists like Michael Esch, expert on variable stars, Xavier Kugler, world authority on Assyriology and Babylonian astronomy; and Theodor Wulf world ranking physicist.
Regency followed as assistant director of the Riverview observatory, 1922-26, as well as physics master and second division prefect. At this time he undertook to advance the local study of solar radiation.
He went to theology at Milltown Park, Dublin 1926-29, and to tertianship at St Beuno's, Wales.
O'Connell studied from 1931-33 at Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was subsequently to have studied with the famous Sir Arthur Eddington. However, because of a lung condition, he returned to Australia, and then worked first as assistant director and later as director of the Riverview observatory 1933-52. Then he was appointed moderator of the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, Rome, 1953-70. He lived in the Jesuit Curia, Rome, and from 1974 was due president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
During the years that O'Connell was at Harvard, the observatory was at the centre of major developments in astronomical research and especially those that were to lead within
the next few decades to the notion of the expanding universe of galaxies. He was thus associated with such eminent astronomers as Harlow Shapley, Cecilia Payne Gaposhkin, and others. His principal occupation at Harvard, and a pursuit which continued for the rest of his life, was the study of variable stars; but he also became known as a keen card player, especially bridge.
On his way back to Australia he visited Mount Wilson and Lick observatories in California, and then went to Japan, China, Java and the Philippines, where he visited leading observatories and advanced his practical studies.
While at the Riverview Observatory, working under William O'Leary, and in addition to his study of variable stars, he developed a keen interest in seismology and in the measurement of time with various types of clocks. This latter focus led him into a lifelong interest in the calendar and calendar reform, a study that served him well in later decades since he was asked to advise popes on both calendar reform and the cycle of ecclesiastical feasts.
In 1935 he initiated the “Riverview Observatory Publications” which enjoyed international reputation. Later, he founded the “Reprint Series” and the “Geophysical Papers” that became also well known. In the field of astronomy, O'Connell worked on eclipsing stars and Cepheid variables For the latter he used photo-electric equipment. About 15 ,000 plates on variable stars were on file at the observatory.
In the field of seismology the observatory's programme included the regional study of earthquake waves and the relationship between earthquake waves and the interior of the earth
During World War II, O'Connell collaborated with the United States government in the location of earthquakes in the Pacific zone in relation to war strategy. This work continued after the war. Each week a cabled report was sent to the United States from Riverview. The Imperial War Graves Commission also consulted him concerning possible earthquake damage to war cemetery sites in the Pacific area.
In his role as director of the Vatican Observatory, he began a career of unique service to the Church that spanned the reign of three popes, and saw immense developments in astronomical research from the initial concept of various stellar populations to an expanding universe containing active galactic nuclei and quasars. On a few occasions he organised study weeks of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at which these subjects were discussed, e.g. Stellar Populations in 1957, and Nuclei of Galaxies in 1970. As a result of these study weeks, two books were published, both edited by O'Connell, and they became classics of astronomical literature. From 1955-61 he was president of the Commission on Double Stars of the International Astronomical Union.
Of his many contacts with popes he served, his relationship with Pius XII was especially close. He frequently advised the Pope, himself a very keen and diligent student of the natural sciences, on topics of current scientific research. In was under Pius XII that the major modern research tool of the Vatican Observatory, the Schmidt telescope, planned under his predecessors but completed under O'Connell, was inaugurated and blessed. Pius XII often visited the observatory, and on one occasion viewed the launching of the Russian Sputnik.
Paul VI viewed the landing of the first man on the Moon with O'Connell over a specially installed television, and he advised the Pope on the technical details of the mission.
In the pursuit of his scientific research, O'Connell became a close friend and collaborator of an international community of astronomers. As director of the Riverview Observatory he went to Europe in 1948 to attend the first post-war meeting of the International Astronomical Union held at Zurich, and on that occasion visited many European observatories. His visit to Utrecht was noteworthy, for there he established a lifelong friendship with Professor Marcel Minnaert who later encouraged him to issue the now famous book on the Green Flash, which, published in collaboration with Brother Karl Trench SJ, provides excellent documentation on optical effects that occur in the Earth's atmosphere when the sun is rising or setting.
However, O'Connell was best known in the international community of astronomers for his research on double stars. He discovered an effect, since known as the “O'Connell Effect”,
concerning the rotation of the line of the apsides (the major aids of the double star's ellipticalorbit). The discovery of this effect was typical of the scientific work of O'Connell. lt required a long period of painstaking observations and careful analyses over many years.
In addition to his membership in the academies and institutes already mentioned, O’Connell was a member of the National Research Council of Australia, and an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy He was also a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales, publishing three papers on earthquakes and the Galitzin seismograph. He served on council, 1946-49, and was vice-president, 1950-52. He became an honorary member of the Society in 1953.
O'Connell retired as director of the Vatican Observatory in 1970. He was president of the Pontifical Academy of Science, 1968-72. While he was an indefatigable worker and consequently very jealous of his time, he still treasured his friends immensely, and was always nurturing new friendships. Even during his last years, when he was largely bedridden, he developed new friendships among old and young alike. The students at Riverview remembered him for showing groups of boys the Moon, planets and the stars on clear nights and for his unfailing gracious word and cheery smile for staff and students.
Many were the nights that, under the then clear skies over Castel Gandolfo. O'Connell climbed the stairs to the telescope atop the papal palace passing die plaque inscribed “Deum Creatorurn Venite Adoremus. He was very intelligent, hardworking and always a gentleman genuine international Jesuit.

Note from Noel Burke-Gaffney entry
1950 He was appointed Director of the Observatory at Riverview after Daniel O’Connell was appointed to the Vatican Observatory

Note from William O’Leary Entry
He remained at Riverview until his death in 1939, directing the observatory until 1937 when Daniel O'Connell became director

Note from Edward Pigot Entry
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. Daniel O'Connell of the Vice-province visited Ireland after an absence of many years, early in September: He has had a very busy time since he left Australia : he did some astronomical work at Leyden before going to the Vatican Observatory where he spent 6 weeks ; he attended a Meeting at Zurich of the International Astronomical Union and then went on to Oslo for the Congress of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He has been invited to lecture to the Irish Astronomical Society at Armagh and to be the guest of Dr. Lindsay, Director of the Armagh Observatory, who is a good friend of his since the Harvard days when they spent two years together at that Observatory. Fr. O'Connell is due to sail for the United States from Southampton on 6th November and will spend some months at Harvard Observatory before returning to Australia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice-province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November.
Irish Province News 58th Year No 1 1983
Obituary
Fr Daniel O'Connell (1896-1913-1982) (Australia)

I met Dan O'Connell for the first time when I went to the noviciate, then in Tullabeg. I found him a quiet novice but a very pleasant companion. We both went to Rathfarnham and were together in our First Arts year (1916-17). He was a brilliant and highly intelligent man. He took a keen interest in Fr William O’Leary's seismograph, which stood in Rathfarnham grounds, and frequently inspected it with him.
We parted company in 1920, when he went to Valkenburg for philosophy while I followed the subject in Milltown. Two years later we were both posted